After news broke that a Super PAC supporting John Kasich is preparing to launch a $2.5 million assault on Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman once again said he’s seriously considering a third-party bid if he fails to win the Republican nomination.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2015
Earlier this year, the RNC and Trump signed a pledge: Trump promised not to run as an independent candidate if he lost the nomination. In return, the Republican National Committee pledged not to launch attacks against him. All he wanted, Trump said, was a level playing field.
And he got one. The RNC hasn’t done anything to bring down his poll numbers — nor does it plan to do so.
Why then does Trump threaten a third-party ticket? SuperPACs have absolutely nothing to do with the RNC. They are completely independent organizations that can’t even coordinate their actions with the Republican Party or individual candidates. The RNC literally has no authority over them. Everything they do, they do of their own accord.
Either Trump isn’t familiar with how SuperPACs operate or he simply doesn’t care. His repeated threats to run as an independent candidate prove that he wasn’t looking for a level playing field after all, but for an easy, obstacle-free path to the nomination.
That is not what the RNC promised him — nor is it something the RNC can promise. Every candidate can be attacked by SuperPACs supporting their opponents, and by their rivals themselves. That’s par for the course in politics, and Trump knows it. After all, this is the guy who habitually lashes out at anyone surging in the polls. Recall how he called Ben Carson “pathological” only a few weeks ago.
Politics is a full-contact sport. If you throw a punch, you can expect one back. If Trump doesn’t like that, he should get out of politics altogether.