Former President Trump says he may skip two upcoming Republican primary debates, citing his lead in the polls as a reason to avoid subjecting himself to scrutiny. Trump also expressed dissatisfaction with the location of the second planned GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, as the chairman of the library’s board of trustees is Fred Ryan, publisher of The Washington Post.
Trump posted to Truth Social:
I see that everybody is talking about the Republican Debates, but nobody got my approval, or the approval of the Trump Campaign, before announcing them. When you’re leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers, and you have hostile Networks with angry, TRUMP & MAGA hating anchors asking the “questions,” why subject yourself to being libeled and abused? Also, the Second Debate is being held at the Reagan Library, the Chairman of which is, amazingly, Fred Ryan, Publisher of The Washington Post. NO!
This is not the first time Trump has threatened to skip debates, as he did during his 2016 campaign for the Republican nomination. The Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has indicated that candidates participating in the debates will need to pledge their support to the eventual nominee, which Trump declined to do during the 2016 primary.
Trump’s stance on skipping debates is not without controversy. Debates are a longstanding tradition in American politics and are essential for comparing candidate’s policies, personalities and beliefs. By refusing to participate, Trump would be avoiding the chance to engage in open discourse and defend his positions in a public forum.
Some critics view Trump’s reluctance to participate in debates as indicative of a lack of transparency and accountability. Skipping debates could be seen as evading scrutiny and avoiding tough questions, which may raise concerns about a candidate’s readiness and ability to lead.