The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
September 3, 2015 8:10 AM EDT

The Republican National Committee is circulating a loyalty pledge to its presidential candidates this week, largely seen as a way to force front-runner Donald Trump‘s hand to commit to not running a third-party campaign should he lose the nomination. Trump appears to be on board, calling a 2 p.m. press conference Thursday at which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is expected to attend at Trump Tower in New York. By getting Trump to sign the oath, the RNC will be able to breathe a sigh of relief that Trump won’t mount an independent bid, which the GOP believes would essentially throw the next election to Democrats. Meanwhile, the draft circulated includes a space for Priebus to certify the pledge, allowing Trump to claim the imprimatur of the Republican Party’s governing body in the face of attacks from Jeb Bush and others that he is not sufficiently Republican. Signing the pledge would be a reversal for Trump after refusing to rule out a third-party bid at the first GOP debate, a move he told TIME that got him “credit” for his “courage,” but such a pathway was always unlikely due to cost, ballot access issues and the high unlikelihood of success. The RNC move follows after several states have included loyalty pledges in their filing forms, including the third-voting state, South Carolina.

As the GOP field gets mad, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is encouraging voters to “count their blessings,” decrying the negativity in politics which he says is leading to a nationwide morale problem. President Obama now has the votes to ensure his Iran nuclear deal takes effect. And the Trump effect is turning this month’s GOP debate into a ‘Yuuge’ money-maker for CNN.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

John Kasich’s Pep Talk for America
As everyone else gets angry, Kasich becomes a motivational speaker [TIME]

Iran Nuclear Deal Reaches Key Number of Senate Supporters
Obama has enough votes to override a veto, TIME’s Massimo Calabresi reports

CNN Charging 40 Times Its Usual Price for Spots in Republican Debate
The Trump effect [AdAge]

Clinton Ex-Aide Likely to Invoke 5th Amendment Over Questions on Email Server
Clinton campaign expresses disappointment [New York Times]

Joe Biden Notes 2016 Campaign Buzz — About Bernie Sanders
Speculation, but few hints, about 2016 plans [Wall Street Journal]


Sound Off

“Joe Biden was my partner, but I didn’t see much of him all day: He spent all of his time in the woods.” — Ohio Gov. John Kasich recounting his golf match with President Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and the Vice President

“I like Jeb. He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.” — Donald Trump fires back at Bush’s attacks

Bits and Bites

Stephen Colbert Mocks Jeb Bush Fundraiser With His Own Contest [TIME]

Does Donald Trump Cheat at Golf? A Washington Post Investigation [Washington Post]

A Voter Question Helped Inspire Hillary Clinton’s New Drug Abuse Plan [TIME]

Walker PAC Plans South Carolina Push [Wall Street Journal]

Obama Gets an Eskimo Kiss — and Asks for Another [Washington Post]

Super PAC Backing O’Malley Sheds Much of its Iowa Staff [Washington Post]

Mike Huckabee Offers Support to Kentucky Clerk Who Refuses to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses [Washington Post]

 

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