An update on the 45th president’s involvement in the next 2024 Republican primary debates has been given by one of Donald Trump’s senior advisors.
In a Tuesday interview with The Hill on NewsNation, Jason Miller, said, “At the moment, President Trump has indicated that he’s unlikely to participate, at least in the first two debates. It really wouldn’t make much sense for him to go and debate right now with a bunch of folks who are down at three, four, and five percent.”
“So ultimately, President Trump will make a decision as we get closer,” he concluded. “He has not said anything definitive, one way or the other. I’m not expecting him to participate, though.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is Trump’s closest rival for the nomination, but most polls show that he is lagging by a significant margin. All of the other GOP candidates are polling in the single digits.
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Still, DeSantis said last week he plans to be at the debates regardless of who else does or does not show up.
“I’ll be there regardless. I hope everybody who’s eligible comes. I think it’s an important part of the process and I look forward to being able to be on the stage and introducing our candidacy and our vision and our leadership to a wide audience,” DeSantis said Thursday on “Fox News Tonight.”
The first GOP debate is set for August 23. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fox News will host it.
Fox News said:
Trump, who’s the commanding front-runner in the latest GOP presidential primary polls as he makes his third straight White House run, has indicated both publicly and privately that he may skip the debate, due in part to his large lead over the rest of the field of Republican 2024 contenders.
But Trump campaign officials say the former president has yet to make any final decision on his participation in the debate. Trump’s aides have also been looking into options for an alternative event should the former president skip the debate.
All of the debates are being coordinated by the Republican National Committee. Candidates must satisfy both high donation and polling requirements in order to be eligible for the stage, according to RNC rules.
Officials from the Trump and DeSantis campaigns, as well as that of the former South Carolina governor and ambassador Nikki Haley, the South Carolina senator Tim Scott, and the biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, have said that they have successfully fulfilled the necessary thresholds.
Some Republican candidates were not pleased with Trump’s warning that he would skip at least the first debate, notably former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who criticized the former president over the matter last month.
Brian Kilmeade, the anchor of Fox & Friends, invited Christie to participate in an interview. Christie was beamed in from a diner in New Hampshire where she watched a footage of Trump’s most recent interview with Bret Baier.
Because he was polling so far ahead of the other Republican contenders, Trump informed Baier in the interview that he didn’t feel the need to take part in the primary debates.
Trump said, “Christie is, I guess, 1% or less. Many of them, Nikki Haley’s is a 2%. So why would I allow people at one and 2% and 0% to be hitting me with questions on? You know, I don’t think it’s fair.”
Kilmeade asked Christie to respond.
“Oh, it’s not fair, Brian. It’s not fair.” Christie taunted the former president, “poor Donald Trump,” likely knowing full well that the former president was more than likely watching Fox & Friends while he was speaking.
Christie then mocked Trump as “the guy who wants to be president of the United States, the guy who says that he’s the toughest person to lead this country, doesn’t want to get up in front of Republican primary voters and defend his record and make a case for the future of America.”