Donald Trump is taking the easy way out by choosing not to stand up to his Republican opponents on the debate stage. The former president wrote that he “WILL NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” in a post on Truth Social.
In the post shared on Sunday, Trump first bragged about what he described as “legendary” poll numbers — taken from a CBS News/YouGov poll — that place him far ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his nearest opponent, who Trump described as “crashing like an ailing bird.”
“New CBS POLL, just out, has me leading the field by ‘legendary’ numbers,” Trump wrote. “TRUMP 62%, 46 Points above DeSanctimonious (who is crashing like an ailing bird!), Ramaswamy 7%, Pence 5%, Scott 3%, Haley 2%, Sloppy Chris Christie 2%, ‘Aida’ Hutchinson 1%. The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more.”
“I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” he added.
The Republican National Committee has lobbied Trump in recent weeks in an attempt to coax him into participating in the party’s Wednesday debate, with Ronna McDaniel paying Trump a personal visit at his Bedminster, N.J., club and home. During that trip, McDaniel told Trump that if he doesn’t debate his Republican opponents, it could give Biden an excuse not to face Trump in a 2024 debate, The New York Times reported.
Even Fox News brass have tried to convince Trump to debate his fellow Republicans. According to the Times, Fox News President Jay Wallace and network CEO Suzanne Scott dined with Trump at Bedminster on Tuesday night, shortly before he was indicted in Georgia.
All candidates who want to participate in the GOP debate are supposed to sign a loyalty pledge of sorts, committing to support the eventual Republican nominee. Earlier this month, Trump said that he will not sign the pledge, though he did demand in June that his opponents should have to pledge to pardon him if they are elected.
“Why would I sign it?” Trump said of the loyalty pledge in an interview on right-wing cable network Newsmax. “I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem.”
Instead of facing off against his GOP foes, Trump will release a taped interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night.
Trump also shied away from live TV cameras when he announced on Friday the cancellation of a promised “major” news conference scheduled for Monday where he vowed to deliver “A Large, Complex, Detailed but Irrefutable REPORT on the Presidential Election Fraud.” The planned conference was to counter the narrative that Fulton County, Ga., prosecutor Fani Willis laid out in her indictment of Trump and 18 others for crimes related to attempted interference with the state’s 2020 presidential election results.
When canceling the news conference, Trump wrote, “Rather than releasing the Report on the Rigged & Stolen Georgia 2020 Presidential Election on Monday, my lawyers would prefer putting this, I believe, Irrefutable & Overwhelming evidence of Election Fraud & Irregularities in formal Legal Filings.”
“Therefore, the News Conference is no longer necessary!” he concluded.