Reince Priebus Forgets Who He’s Dealing With

Donald Trump and the RNC could really use John Kasich and Jeb Bush's help shoring up the Republican vote in the swing states of Ohio and Florida, so much so that party chairman Reince Priebus was willing to threaten them about it. There's a pledge that all the Republican primary candidates signed in order to participate in the debate; it required that all the candidates support the eventual nominee in the general election. Now, Priebus has revisited that pledge to call out Kasich and Bush, and to to help Trump. However, he's being hypocritical because back in March, Trump said he wouldn't support the nominee.

Priebus' comment was made on CBS' Face The Nation. The host, John Dickerson, asked Priebus about the Republican officials that were withholding their support or enthusiasm from Trump. Priebus brought up the former presidential nominees, noting that they'd used RNC resources:

Look, people who agreed to support the nominee, that took part in our process, they used tools from the RNC. They agreed to support the nominee. They took part in our process. We’re a private party. We’re not a public entity ... Those people need to get on board. And if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, you know, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process of the nomination process, and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.

Ironically, the pledge was first signed as a way to control a possible Trump third-party candidacy. When he felt like he was getting an unfair deal from the RNC, though, Trump decided not to honor the pledge. He explained how he didn't feel bound to honor the pledge to Anderson Cooper at a CNN Town Hall on March 29: "I don't. We'll see who it is ... I've been treated very unfairly, I think, basically by the RNC, the Republican Party, the establishment."

Even more ironically, Trump said immediately before that Sen. Ted Cruz did not have to support him. (Cruz had just said it would be hard for him to support Trump, and if you remember he told voters to vote their conscience at the convention.) "He honestly doesn't have to support me," Trump told Cooper. "I'm not asking for his support. I want the people's support."

That was all good when he had enough of the people's support. It was easy in the primaries, but the general is looking a lot more difficult for Trump. Polls may be starting to swing back toward Clinton after her difficult week with the "deplorables" comment and pneumonia-related issues. Priebus probably sees that, and hence has decided the only option is to fall back on this pledge that even Trump didn't stick to, which is maybe not the greatest plan.