Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpElectoral voters trying to block Trump presidency pick Kasich as alternative Electoral voters trying to block Trump presidency pick Kasich as alternative Fixing trade with Mexico requires raising labor standards MORE took to Twitter Sunday night and blasted the Republican Party of Virginia over its plan that primary voters must pledge commitment to the party.
The real estate mogul said that requiring voters to sign a statement vowing that they are Republicans will dissuade independent and new voters from participating in the primary. Virginia has an open-primary system where any registered voter can cast a ballot in one of the primary elections.
It begins, Republican Party of Virginia, controlled by the RNC, is working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters. BAD!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2015
R.P.Virginia has lost statewide 7 times in a row. Will now not allow desperately needed new voters. Suicidal mistake. RNC MUST ACT NOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2015
Hopefully the Republican National Committee can straighten out the total mess that is taking place in Virginia's Republican Party. FAST!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2015
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told The Washington Post that the billionaire businessman is pushing the Virginia GOP to back down on the pledge.
“That’s a real problem for a party that wants to be inclusive instead of exclusive,” Lewandowski said. “We want to have as many people participate as possible, right?”
The state party didn’t respond to the Post, but a statement from earlier this month by executive director John Findlay said the plan was “a reasonable threshold” that wasn’t aimed at hurting any specific candidate or voter group.
A few months back, the Virginia GOP considered requiring Republican presidential candidates to sign a loyalty pledge to the party. This followed the first GOP presidential debate, where Trump wouldn’t rule out launching a third-party bid.
Trump has wavered on his commitment to the party but as of now says he won't run as an independent. At the most recent debate, he pledged that he’s committed to the Republican Party.