Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, on Sunday called the Republican National Committee’s requirement that candidates pledge support for the eventual nominee a «useless idea.»

In an interview On CNN’s «State of the Union,» Christie said: «I think the pledge is just a useless idea» when asked if he would pledge to support party favorite Donald Trump even if the former president is convicted. for a crime

“And by the way, in my entire life, we never had to make Republican primary candidates compromise,” he said. “You know, we were Republicans. And the idea is that I would support the Republican whether he wins or loses. And you didn’t have to ask someone to sign something.

«It’s just the Donald Trump era that you need someone to sign something into a pledge,» Christie added. «So I think it’s a bad idea»,

An RNC spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

The RNC requires presidential hopefuls to pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee if they want to participate in the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23.

Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, another Republican contender, have said they will sign the pledge. But both are outspoken critics of Trump and have also criticized the pledge, raising questions about whether they will follow through.

Trump has not committed to signing the pledge: «There are probably people that I wouldn’t be very happy to endorse who are running, so we’ll see,» he said in March. NBC News has reported that he is considering skipping the first Republican debates.

in a interview with ABC NewLast month, Christie said he would take the pledge «as seriously as» Trump did in the 2016 election cycle.

“I will be on the debate stage, and I will take the promise that the RNC makes to me as seriously as Donald Trump did eight years ago,” Christie said, saying Trump “completely ignored” the promise in 2016 and faced no punishment. .

Hutchinson indicated in early June that he would sign the pledge, telling NBC News: «I will do whatever it takes to participate in the debate.» but in a interview with Politico last week, he said he would not vote for Trump if he is convicted of criminal charges in the classified documents case.

Hutchinson has also urged the RNC to add an addendum to its commitment which acquits the signatories of supporting a candidate «guilty of espionage or a serious crime.»

Other RNC requirements for candidates to qualify for the debate stage include meeting a voting threshold and raising money from at least 40,000 unique donors, including 200 from at least 20 states and territories.