The signing of a Republican Party pledge that all candidates will eventually support the party’s presidential nominee is underway, with White House hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy becoming the first to agree to the language drawn up by the Republican National Committee (RNC).
First reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by Fox News, Ramaswamy, with his signature, became the first candidate to formally qualify for the Aug. 23 Republican debate hosted by Fox in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made the “Beat Biden pledge” a requirement for her party’s candidates to be able to participate in its official debates, a rule that flies in the face of former President Donald Trump’s previous suggestion he might not support the eventual winner of the Republican nomination.
THESE REPUBLICANS HAVE MET QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE FIRST GOP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and co-founder of Strive Asset Management, speaks at the Republican Party Of Iowa’s annual Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, US, on Friday, July 28, 2023. (Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
According to the pledge, candidates must affirm they will only appear in debates sanctioned by the RNC, and, should they fail to sign the pledge or participate in a non-RNC sanctioned debate, they will not be able to participate in any further party sanctioned debates.
“Additionally, I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination for President of the United States, I will honor the will of the primary voters and support the 2024 Republican presidential nominee in order to save our country and beat Joe Biden,” the pledge goes on to say.
“I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party,” it adds.
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RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Institute’s “A Time for Choosing Speaker Series” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on April 20, 2023 in Simi Valley, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)
In addition to the pledge, candidates must also reach 1% in three national polls, or 1% in two national polls and two state-specific polls from the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada in order to qualify for the debate. The polls must also be recognized by the RNC and must be conducted on or after July 1.
Additionally, to reach the debate stage, candidates must have 40,000 unique donors to their campaign committee (or exploratory committee), with “at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories,” according to the RNC criteria.
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Fox News’ Jessica Loker and Kyle Morris contributed to this report.