Trump Announces His Position on GOP Debates – Watch
Former President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he will not participate in the upcoming Republican primary debates, citing the “biased media” that he says will be moderating the events.
Trump focused on a CBS News poll that showed him at 62%, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 16%, and everyone else in the low single digits to explain why he did not plan to make a showing at the debates. He said that he believes voters already know who he is and concluded by stating: “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said earlier in the day that she is “still holding out hope that [former] President Trump will come” because it’s “so important that the American people hear from all the candidates.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized Trump last week for refusing to commit to showing up to the debate, noting correctly that the majority of Trump’s attacks have been directed at him, adding: “And then the other candidates, a lot of them don’t really say much about Donald Trump, and they — they focus more on me.”
“So, if you already had it in the bag, you would not worry about any other candidate,” he continued. “I have been in races where I had it in the bag. I was not out there attacking people that I was 40 or 50 points ahead of. So, he owes it to people to go up there and debate.”
The governor said that one of the main reasons Trump does not want to debate is because he does not want to have to defend his record in terms of some of the things that he promised to do while campaigning in 2016, but later failed to do.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went after Trump last week over the issue, writing on social media: “Surprise, surprise … the guy who is out on bail from four jurisdictions and can’t defend his reprehensible conduct, is running scared and hiding from the debate stage. Trump — certified loser, verified coward.”
Trump’s decision to skip the debates is a major break with tradition, as all major presidential candidates have participated in debates in recent elections. However, Trump has long been critical of the media, and he has accused them of being unfair to him.
Chris Christie on Trump skipping the debate:
“Surprise, surprise… the guy who is out on bail from four jurisdictions and can’t defend his reprehensible conduct, is running scared and hiding from the debate stage.
Trump – certified loser, verified coward.” pic.twitter.com/W8FgYHsZDG
— Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) August 20, 2023