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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the Republican Party said on Monday party candidates running for the White House in 2016 should vow not to run as independents, a move that could give Democrats the edge in the presidential race.

“I think our candidates should pledge not to run as a third party candidate,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told NBC News in an interview.

His comments come after real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump said recently he would consider his presidential bid as a third party candidate if the Republican Party didn’t treat him fairly, and accused the party of not supporting him.

Priebus said he was not worried about Republican candidates launching out on their own, and that the party’s contenders understood the importance of uniting to beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner.

“I think everyone understands that. If Hillary Clinton’s going to get beat, she’s going to get beat by a Republican,” he told NBC on its “Today” program. “If our candidates want to win, then they’ll have to run as a Republican.”

Trump has broken ahead of the Republican field in recent polls even as he stirred controversy with his remarks about immigrants from Mexico, questioned U.S. Senator John McCain’s war service and lobbed personal attacks against fellow Republican presidential candidates.

He led the pack in several polls released on Sunday. Reuters polling also showed Trump tied with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as of July 24.

Sixteen Republicans are running for the party’s presidential nomination in the November 2016 election.

(Editing by Lisa Lambert and Bernadette Baum)

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures at a news conference near the U.S.- Mexico border outside of Laredo, Texas July 23, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

  • Dominick Vila

    Did somebody forget to tell the Republican leadership that Sen. Bernie Sanders is an Independent running for the nomination of the Democratic Party? Americans can run for whichever office we wish, and if we decide to do so by joining a political party, or as Independents, that’s our choice to make.
    I doubt Trump will run as an Independent, but if he decides to do so, more power to him. I think it is important to remember that if Trump decides to run as an Independent, he is likely to get votes not only from the far right, but from many Independents and from dissatisfied Democrats. His appeal is based on the fact that he is running as an anti-establishment candidate, rather than being a champion of “conservative” causes.

    • Carolyn1520

      It’s really funny that those who hijacked the republican party are now being hijacked by someone even crazier.

      • Dominick Vila

        Especially when that someone does not even fit the RINO category. In all fairness, I don’t think Donald Trump is crazy. I think he is an arrogant, greedy, despotic man without real ideological leanings who is accustomed to abuse others and use them to achieve his personal goals. The big question, I think, is will the average Republican realize they are being manipulated before the 2016 election. If they do, their reaction is not going to be pretty. Donald may be forced to seek asylum…in Mexico to save his skin! I wonder how El Chapo would react to that…:-)

        • stcroixcarp

          Donald could always go into business with El Chapo.

          • Dominick Vila

            Considering the reliable clientele, that would guarantee no more bankruptcies for Donald.

          • S.A. Clark

            I think he already has. Watch and see how may of the people who irritate Trump suddenly disappear.

        • S.A. Clark

          You won the internet! That describes Trump perfectly (actually, the UK describes Trump perfectly because trump = fart there. Here Trump = tramp).

  • Insinnergy

    Poor Reincy is running scared.
    Trump is going to drag out all the hypocritical GOP dirty laundry they’ve been telling their base for years on National Television and then possibly run as an Independent.
    It’s glorious.

  • IntelliWriter

    Gee, that’s not at all self serving.

  • Carolyn1520

    LOL Trump is holding them hostage. They better be nice to him or he’s going to take a part of the losing votes with him. This IS a circus.

  • Daniel Jones

    Preibus is essentially reducing the very concept of the Presidential race to choosing between Wimp and Shrimp. (Bloom County’s back–I can say this)

    That the Tea Party, a so called third option, has been thoroughly tucked into the “big tent” of Republicanism proves it was at no point a truly independent political group.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Mutton Chops and Gumbo GOP boys translation: If Hillary is going to get beat, it will be by one of our GOP MEN. Who the hell are these boys fooling? 235+ years of total government and business domination isn’t enough?

    Now, they are out to prove no woman will EVER be president..and for the dipshittiest reason imaginable…her gender. Or, as Mitch the Bitch McConnell stated 2 weeks ago, “It isn’t about gender.” Oh how RIGHT he is…It’s ALL and ONLY about HIS gender.

    This is how gender arrogant, gender defiant, gender biased the GOP men are. Out of nearly 20 GOP candidates, only 2 are women and not even women of any comparable accomplishment, one a failed CEO of 2 years of Hewlitt Packard and the other an unknown who won’t even make it to the debate stage.

  • Böcker

    Oh do please run a third party candidate, thanks the DNC