RNC Chair Threatens Former GOP Candidates With ‘Penalty’ If They Don’t Fall In Line Behind Trump

Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus appeared on Face The Nation on Sunday to chat about birtherism and the party’s recalcitrant former candidates for POTUS. On the former, Priebus is sticking to the talking point that Hillary started it. On the latter, though…

John Dickerson asked Priebus about whether Trump was capturing the “reluctant Republicans,” GOP members in the #NeverTrump or barely Trump camps. Priebus tried to dodge the question by going back to “where Trump is with the voters.” As if the people in either of those 2 groups aren’t voters, themselves. Then Priebus laid down the law:

“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.”

He is referring, of course, to the pledge that every Republican candidate was forced to sign at the start of the election season, saying that they would support the eventual nominee. Trump has already brought this up, saying that those who have not yet publicly said that they will support him are “sore losers” and that they “broke their word.”

Priebus seems to think so, too. He told Dickerson:

“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, 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.”

Though I hate to admit it, he does have a point. Candidates who are cleared by the Party can obtain important tools like email lists and so forth. If people like Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush availed themselves of those tools, they are technically indebted to the RNC.

Priebus continued, floating a veiled threat:

“So what’s the penalty for that? It’s not a threat, but that’s just the question that we have a process in place. And if a private entity puts forward a process and has agreement with the participants in that process, and those participants don’t follow through with the promises that they made in that process, what– what should a private party do about that if those same people come around in four or eight years?”

What, indeed? Personally, I think that it’s a toss-up whether the GOP as we know it will even be an entity in 4 or 8 years. At the rate they are going now, they may split into 2 parties. Reince Priebus will just be a historical footnote, in any case.

Here’s the full interview:

Featured Image via Screen Capture

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