Speed Reads

march 3 debate

Rubio, Cruz, Kasich pledge to back GOP nominee, 'even if the nominee is Donald J. Trump'

The final question at the Fox News debate on Thursday night was whether Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich would pledge to support the eventual Republican presidential nominee, "even if the nominee is Donald J. Trump." None of the three was willing to join the #NeverTrump movement, each saying he would support Trump, for slightly different reasons. Rubio said Trump would be preferable to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Cruz said that he is a man of his word and he'd already pledged to support the nominee, and Kasich started out with a joke: "I sort of think, when all is said and done, I will be the nominee." But he would back Trump, even though "sometimes he makes it a little bit hard."

When Chris Wallace asked Trump if he'd back the GOP nominee if it weren't him, he initially scoffed at the idea that he wouldn't get the nod. Eventually, he said that yes, he would back Rubio, Trump, or Kasich. Just after the debate, he hedged a bit with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, telling him, "I don't want to run as an independent," and that the Republican Party had been pretty good to him.