In a Thursday interview with MSNBC, Florida governor and 2024 GOP primary candidate Ron DeSantis suggested that Donald Trump should be removed from the primary ballot if he is convicted in any of the legal cases the frontrunner is currently facing.
"Do you really believe that a man who's convicted of say, attempting to overturn the 2020 election or taking nuclear secrets back to his beach club, do you actually still, as we sit here today, believe that person should be president?" host Willie Geist asked.
"So I signed a pledge, Willie, and that pledge is what it is," DeSantis said, referring to the pledge the Republican National Committee made all GOP candidates sign if they wanted to appear on the debate stage.
"Now, do I think somebody under those circumstances could get elected president? The answer is no. That will not happen," he said, adding that it would be "fatal in a general election."
"I don't think the party should nominate in that situation. However, you know, I signed the pledge. I'm a Republican. I don't think it's going to come to that, and I think we'll be we'll get the job done like we need to, but the reality is, is I signed it and that's what I did."
Ahead of the first GOP debate in August, DeSantis signed the Republican National Committee’s loyalty pledge, which states that the other nominees would support the winning party nominee in the presidential election. That pledge was part of the criteria party members needed to qualify for the first debate, which took place on August 23. Trump refused to make the pledge and has not appeared in any debates.
DeSantis and the other nominees were asked on stage about the pledge, and if they would still support Trump even if he’s convicted on one of the many cases that have been brought against him.
Most candidates raised their hands, though DeSantis only did so after looking around to see who else had done so. Fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy immediately raised his hand high, and has been a vocal advocate for Trump as the cases against Trump continue, with two federal cases in DC and Florida, and two state cases in Georgia, and New York.
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