Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Tuesday he doesn't plan to honor his pledge to support the party's nominee for president if it's not him. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Trump's rivals, also backed away from similar pledges, inserting a new kind of acrimony into the already heated race.
"I have been treated very unfairly" by the Republican National Committee, Trump said without elaborating.
Trump said he wouldn't expect his main rival, Cruz, to support him, should Trump win the nomination. "I’m not asking for his support," Trump said.
That's a good thing, because Cruz has no plans to back him. "I'm not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my family," Cruz told Cooper, referring to Trump's repeated swipes at his wife, Heidi Cruz.
Kasich, too, declined to say he'd honor the pledge he made to the Republican party last year. "I'll see what happens," he said.
With only four months to go before the GOP convenes in Cleveland to select a nominee, all three of the remaining candidates seemed to dig in their heels this week, each vowing to fight to the bitter end in his quest for the nomination.
Trump recently hired longtime GOP lawyer and operative Paul Manafort to help his campaign navigate the delegate and convention process. On Tuesday, Trump expressed dismay at the delegate apportionment in the recent Louisiana primary, where Cruz emerged with more delegates, even though Trump won the plurality of votes.
Trump has also toyed with the idea of mounting a third-party campaign, and harness voters' discontent with both major parties.
"I just wanted fairness from the Republican Party," Trump said when he signed the pledge in September of last year. "I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party, and the conservative principles for which it stands."
This story has been updated to include responses from Cruz and Kasich.
CORRECTION: This article previously stated that Trump won a majority of the vote in Louisiana; he won a plurality.
Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.