[Ed. – No, no, no … this time it’s for real.]
The GOP has finally muscled its maverick front-runner, Donald Trump, into submission. A Trump adviser said on Thursday the billionaire has agreed to sign the Republican “loyalty pledge” he famously refused at the first debate in Cleveland last month, apparently ruling out a scenario that utterly terrified the GOP establishment: that Trump would launch a third-party bid and almost certainly deny Republicans the White House. With the stroke of a pen, Trump will put these fears to rest—and immeasurably weaken his own standing. He’s probably signing his political death warrant.
The adviser gave four reasons for why Trump decided to sign the pledge:
- He’s leading in the polls, so there’s no harm. It might even help him.
- This will deprive opponents like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush of an obvious line of attack: that Trump’s only in the race for his own aggrandizement.
- This inoculates Trump against his own history of supporting liberal candidates and policies. He can say, “Look, I signed the Republican pledge.”