Priebus: Candidates backing away from GOP pledge are 'posturing'
© Greg Nash

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus on Thursday night brushed off news of all three GOP presidential candidates backing away from their pledge to support the eventual nominee. 

"We're going into potentially — we don't know for sure — but potentially an open convention. So the candidates, I think, are going to posture a little bit as far as what they're willing to do and who they're willing to support, who they're not," Priebus said during an interview on Fox News's "On the Record."
 
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"What candidates are now portraying out for the public to listen to is, you know, I think a bit of posturing," Priebus said. "I'm not really worried about in regards to supporting the eventual nominee or the party."
 
Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE was the most outspoken in backing away from the pledge this week, saying in a CNN town hall Tuesday, "No, I don't anymore." He maintained that position on Wednesday in follow-up interviews, saying it depended on who wins the nomination.
 
Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House Senators confirm Erdoğan played 'propaganda' video in White House meeting MORE and John Kasich also stepped away from the pledge, with Cruz saying he's "not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my family" and Kasich expressing regret for ever making the pledge.
 
"All of us shouldn't even have answered that question," he said Tuesday.
 
The moves added to the belief that there will be a fight at the convention and potentially beyond. Priebus signaled Thursday night that party officials would attempt to hold the candidates to the pledge, pointing to a data agreement to which he said the candidates had agreed.
 
"They're not going to get the data and the tools of the RNC — and run to be our nominee — and tell me that they're not going to support the party," Priebus said on Fox. "It doesn't work that way. They're running to be the nominee of our party."
 
The RNC chair's interview came on the heels of his closed-doors meeting with Trump earlier in the afternoon at party headquarters in Washington, D.C. 
 
Trump tweeted after the meeting that he was "looking forward to bringing the Party together" and took a similar tact in an interview on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," saying, "I think they wanted to really discuss unity, and I like discussing unity, too."
 
Trump described it as a "terrific meeting." When asked who set up the meeting, Trump said, "I think it was probably mutually called."
 
Priebus told Fox that the meeting was planned "days ago."
 
"When a candidate comes to town and says, 'Hey, we're going to be in town having meetings, wanna stop by and say hello.' Hey, no problem," Priebus said, describing the meeting in general terms as focusing on "process and unity."
 
"I'm really not going to talk about what we talked about," Priebus said when pressed about whether Trump revoking his pledge this week came up in the meeting. Trump on Tuesday had accused the RNC and others of treating him "unfairly."
 
Priebus also suggested that either Trump or Cruz could secure the necessary 1,237 delegates to lock up the nomination and avoid a contested convention, saying, "Ted Cruz and Donald Trump could get to the magic number before Cleveland."