Trump slams Virginia GOP over primary party pledge: 'It begins'

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump complained about the Virginia Republican Party in a series of tweets Sunday
  • The rant comes after the party implemented rules saying primary voters must sign a loyalty pledge

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump tore into the Virginia Republican Party on Sunday, blasting the state party's decision to require anyone voting in the primary affirm they are Republicans.

"It begins, Republican Party of Virginia, controlled by the RNC, is working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters. BAD!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
The blasts come after the Virginia Republican Party won a battle requiring that voters sign an oath to the party in order to cast a ballot in the Republican primary there March 1.
    In a series of tweets, Trump warned the party that limiting the primary to only Republicans -- and leaving out independents -- could cost them elections in the future.
    "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!"
    "The voters the Republican Party of Virginia are excluding will doom any chance of victory. The Dems LOVE IT! Be smart and win for a change!"
    The move could be especially damaging to Trump, who has racked up strong support among independents and conservative voters disaffected by the Republican Party.
    Trump has repeatedly suggested that he could leave the GOP if he felt he wasn't being treated fairly and run as an independent, but he ruled that out in the fifth Republican debate.
    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Monday that though he would not support a party loyalty pledge for the general election, he said the Virginia Republicans were fine because it's a primary election.
    "I do think it's perfectly legitimate in a primary to tell people 'You need to register with our party if you want to help pick our nominee,' because this is not a general election, this is a party process, the parties are picking their candidate to go against the other guy," Huckabee said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "I think to say there's gotta be a registration, I don't have a problem with that."