Trump Declares: "No Need for GOP Debate - Public Knows Me"

03:01 21.08.2023

Former President Donald Trump has confirmed that he will not be participating in the Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday and has hinted at potentially sitting out the other debates as well. Trump made this announcement on his social media platform, Truth Social, stating that the public already knows who he is and what a successful presidency he had, therefore he will not be doing the debates. It is unclear whether he plans to skip all the debates throughout the election cycle.

The Republican National Committee has required each candidate to sign a loyalty pledge in order to enter the debates and support the eventual nominee. However, Trump has refused to sign this pledge. Reports from the weekend suggested that he had made the decision to sit down for an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, which has already been taped and will air online at the same time as the debate.

Recent polls compiled by RealClearPolitics show that Trump is currently leading the Republican pack by 41 percentage points, with a 55.5% support rate. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis follows behind at 14.5%. Trump has argued that his commanding lead over the Republican field diminishes the need for him to participate in a debate, as he believes there is little for him to gain. However, opponents have targeted this stance, with a DeSantis-supporting super PAC releasing an advertisement stating, "We can't afford a nominee who is too weak to debate."

DeSantis' campaign spokesperson posted on social media that no one is entitled to the nomination, including Donald Trump, and that candidates must show up and earn it. However, Trump has dismissed such criticisms and believes that it is not a question of guts but a question of intelligence.

Despite Trump's announcement, it remains uncertain whether he will boycott every primary debate or just the ones currently scheduled. His spokesperson did not clarify this. Trump has been critical of Fox News, labeling it a "hostile network" that he believes will not treat him fairly. In response, he has explored alternative options for counterprogramming, such as the interview with Tucker Carlson or potentially holding a rally instead.

Trump's decision not to participate in the debates further deepens his feud with Fox, which was once a staunch defender but is now seen as more favorable to his leading rival, DeSantis. Fox executives and hosts had tried to persuade Trump to attend, as they were concerned about their ratings. However, Trump remained unmoved and believed they were only pursuing him due to their concerns.

While Trump's rivals have been anticipating his appearance at the debate, they are now preparing for the possibility that he might not show up. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused Trump of lacking the guts to participate and called him a coward if he doesn't attend. A super PAC supporting DeSantis released an ad criticizing Trump's absence, and DeSantis himself posted on social media that he looked forward to sharing his vision as a candidate.

This is not the first time Trump has chosen to skip a major GOP debate. During his 2016 campaign, he opted out of the final debate before the Iowa caucuses and held his own campaign event instead. While this decision garnered attention, he ultimately lost the Iowa caucuses to Sen. Ted Cruz. In 2020, Trump withdrew from the second general election debate against President Joe Biden after the Commission on Presidential Debates sought to make it virtual due to Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis.

It is important to note that Trump is not the only candidate who may be absent from Wednesday's debate. Several lesser-known rivals are unlikely to meet the threshold set by the Republican National Committee to participate. This threshold requires candidates to have received contributions from at least 40,000 individual donors and to poll at least 1% in designated national polls. Candidates who have met the qualifications include DeSantis, Christie, former vice president Mike Pence, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

In addition to the fundraising and polling requirements, the RNC has mandated that candidates sign a loyalty pledge to support the eventual party nominee and refrain from participating in non-RNC sanctioned debates throughout the election cycle. Some candidates, like Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, have expressed opposition to this requirement. However, former Texas Rep. Will Hurd is the only one thus far who has definitively stated that he will not sign the pledge. Trump has also voiced opposition to the loyalty pledge and has suggested that he opposes boycotting general election debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

/ Monday, August 21, 2023, 3:01 AM /

themes:  Joe Biden  Donald Trump  Florida  Texas  New Jersey  Wisconsin  South Carolina  Iowa  Arkansas

VIEWS: 205

All rights to the materials belong to the sources indicated under the heading of each news and their authors.