Robert Ehlert: Sans pledge to the party, should Trump retain his GOP podium spot?

Though plenty of questions were asked during Thursday’s GOP debate in Cleveland, I am left with a big, big question, one that must be answered by the next Republican debate, Sept. 16 in Simi Valley, Calif., at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library:

No pledge, no podium for candidate Donald Trump?

Though Trump is more entertaining than a political incorrectness festival-meets Burning Man bonfire on the sub-planet Pluto, he refused to pledge his support for the eventual GOP nominee in front of the nation and left open the possibility of a third-party run, a la Ross Perot in 1992 during the last Bush/Clinton matchup.

If the Republican National Committee has a spine, wing or even a wishbone, how will it square looking the other way in the face of such potential unfaithfulness? What would Ronald Reagan do?

In case you didn’t already guess, this is the subject of a Statesman Today’s Question: No pledge, no podium for candidate Donald Trump?

Speaking of which, we asked you Friday who had the biggest impact after you watched the debate. Here are some sample comments from Facebook:

Jen Desmond Haney Huckabee.

Drew Dunn Donald Trump, but not in a good way.

Kim Markey None, without any surprise to me.

Mary Ann Stearns Emmons My husband asked me whom I thought won the debates. I answered, “The Democrats.”

Larry Shaffer None.

Darin Turner I’m a Democrat, but I would say that Gov. John Kasich did the best, even though the man can’t help but look rumpled.

Dixie Leihy Dr. Ben Carson impressed me. He seemed both intelligent and down to earth.

Ann Blanton I’m a Democrat too ... I wasn’t too impressed with anyone, but Kasich and Bush and even Christie seemed most intelligent.

Rick Weight Cruz and Huckabee. Christie needs to be the next AG.

Eugene Sherman Greeley No debate, they’re bat dung crazy!

Geoff Lodal Me. By not watching it.

Jack Peterson The first RNC debate was clearly a premeditated effort to discredit and purge The Donald from the clown car. And I can only hope that he follows through and runs as an Independent if he doesn’t secure the Republican nomination.

Trevor Vaughan I hope that Donald either wins the primary, or runs as an Independent. Either way, a Democrat wins, and I would hope Bernie is the one there, but I like Hillary, too.

John Hoffman The Fox News debate was nothing more than a setup to take out Donald J. Trump; it was not a fair and balanced debate. It was attack Donald J. Trump and ignore Dr. Ben Carson and shove their noses up their beloved rino posterier.

Chuck Myntti John Kasich emerged as a smart human. Jeb Bush is definitely the brains of the family, even though I don’t like his politics.

Tim Cerami Jeb, although I won’t vote for any of them.

Tom Munds Bigger question, how many of you understand the Constitution enough to answer the question? . . .I know, the goptards and demagogues will opt for a Bush or a Clinton and think nothing of why these always seem to be our options? Hello?

Cody Faught Carson all day with Trump as vice president.

Rachel Hugens I saw PBS post breaking down how many minutes each candidate had ... ranged from 11 mins to 5 mins. ... How can that be a debate?

Karen Lloid Ridenour Donald says what everyone is thinking — people are just fed up with the government ... maybe he is the answer ... not for sure yet

Corey Tidwell Rubio and Carson did great!

Bonnie Shoemaker What a joke ... These idiots can’t tie their own shoes and they think they are qualified to run the country. They simply proved we will have a Democrat in office another eight years ... which was already clear.

Patrick McKeegan About an hour in we concurred the hawks and wealthy were still in the forefront, scary stuff.

Robert Ehlert is the Statesman’s editorial page editor. Reach him at 377-6437 or follow @IDS_HelloIdaho.