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.