Scottsdale, Arizona (CNN) - Members of the Republican National Committee gathering in Arizona were invited to meet with Mitt Romney in private Friday and have their pictures taken with the presumptive GOP nominee, but there was a price of admission: loyalty.
RNC members and state GOP chairmen were welcomed into the private reception only after signing a form pledging to support Romney as a delegate to the national convention in Tampa.
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All 168 members of the committee have a vote at the convention as "superdelegates" – and one of Romney's supporters on the RNC estimated that over 100 members signed the form.
The Romney "delegate pledge form" asked members to sign their name and "pledge to vote for Mitt Romney at the 2012 Republican National Convention on all ballots until Mitt Romney has been nominated."
Signers were given the option of declaring their support publicly or privately by checking one of two boxes.
Several state Republican chairmen who have not publicly endorsed a candidate - including party leaders from South Carolina, Ohio and California - signed the pledge.
Romney spoke only briefly and spent roughly 20 minutes shaking hands and posing with members in a photo line.
"This is where all the power is, huh?" Romney joked as he entered the room to applause. "Thank you for all your work. Thank you for your help."
Not everyone was allowed to join in the fun.
All three members of Iowa's conservative RNC delegation – party chairman A.J. Spiker and committee members Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehman – attempted to enter the reception but were rebuffed after refusing to sign the delegate pledge.
The dispute became heated in the hallway outside, with the Iowans demanding to know why they had to sign a form to get their picture taken with the former Massachusetts governor.
Several of Romney's deputies on the committee assured the trio that they could keep their support a secret by checking the appropriate box, but they refused to do so.
"They don't trust us," a frustrated Scheffler said after the argument. "I have said I will support the nominee when we have a nominee, no ifs, ands or buts."
The Iowa delegates were later given the opportunity to pose for a photo with Romney at a luncheon for RNC members, after the private event for supporters.
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& the Bisop says be with me my childrer & sign my pledge & share my slogan of EVERYTHIG SUCKS & EVERYTHIG BLOWS & Though shall recieve Majic Underwear!!!!!!!!!!
What is it with the Red Neck right and their stupid pledges? Is this Anamal House or something?
Pledge this , pledge that. The only pledge they should be making is to the American people – to serve them better – not to Mitt Romney or Grover Norquist.
Iowa has a lot to lose if romney wins they better support Obama
If he is twisting arms now, can you only imagine the spectacle we'll see should he get elected to the White House?? Quite scary!!!
That is a high price to pay for someone who has been all over the map in terms of positions.
Sounds like Hitlers third reich pledge.
He's all about leverage.
Sleaze Ball!!!!!!! He buys a campaign, blackmails delegates, and flip-flops what he truly believes to get votes. What a joke!!! He only cares about his own agenda. OBAMA 2012!!!!!
You have to pay to play with willard robmey.get on board he will see to it that you will live forever and you are tax exempt
Only someone desperate would stoop to these tactics. Romney is a liar and a manipulator
This is the same kind of stuff the Mormon church does....I know from experience You have to mindlessly follow and don't ask questions or you get encommunicated.
These GOP/TP folks should be pledging alliegance to the US, not some stoopid pledge like Grover Norquists pledge not to raise taxes. Oh wait, they all did pledge alliegance to the US, and for the last 3 yrs have completely ignored it. They should all be locked up and fined for treasonous behavior!!!
Yo pledges just sign this & help me make it hard for minorities, the elderly, the disabled , the hispanics & especially the poor to cast their vote, OK BISHOP, now everybody remember all toghether now, EVERYTHING SUCKS & EVERYTHING BLOWS. Yes Bishop Romney. BISHOP 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!
Looking at that picture, I wonder when Mitt will start talking about annexing Canada and Mexico......he's starting to go National Socialist on us...
This is just stupid. What does Romney possibly have to gain by requiring people to sign a pledge to vote for him to get their pictures taken with him? Is he that insecure about winning the nomination? Seems very petty to me. All those people we see in pictures with Romney, did they have to sign pledges too?
He does understand that the presidency is not the same as being the boss in private industry, doesn't he? Is he going to write us up for violating his company policies? Fire states that don't comply? Suspend us without pay? Perhaps HE is the one that just doesn't understand. Most people aren't all that fond of over-controlling bosses.
Does this walking rogaine-coifed turd know how NOT to look desperate?
No one needs to sigh any pledge for any candidate. This is an unbelievable course of action. Other political people have done the same thing and we opposed them and fought two world wars against them.
CNN continues to ignore Ron Paul's multi thousand people rallies.
"Several of Romney's deputies on the committee assured the trio that they could keep their support a secret by checking the appropriate box, but they refused to do so."
Not only does this come across as desperate, it's utterly stupid as well, begging the question: What else does Mitt have up his sleeve for the unsuspecting "converts"? Be careful what you "pledge" on Mitts behalf, folks. He's not exactly a full disclosure candidate.
Secrecy, off-shore accounts, coercion, --– what next? Raise our arms 45 degrees and Heil Mormons?
I'm telling you, I've worked with MANY, and they are not to be trusted 2 feet.
repos sign pledges to go to the bathroom . No one is allowed to think for themselves. Pledges against birth control pledges agains raising taxes pledges against minorities. Between Norquist and the koch bros, and now mitt. Whats left your first born? Obama 2012
Obama/Biden 2012 - or lose every freedom you still have.
Women, hispanics, blacks, gays - watch this guy like a hawk.
What is with all of this pledge signing stuff? Has the Republican Party become some type of strange Fraternity? Do they have a secret handshake too? We had enough of the 'You are either with us or against us' from the prior administration.