Trump suggests he won’t attend the 2024 GOP debates
Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is so far ahead of his main Republican opponents in 2024 that he sees no reason to participate in the GOP debates.
“I’m leading by 40 points. A lot of people say, “Why would you have a debate when you have people who are two and three and fifteen and fourteen? [percent]?'” said Trump John Catsimatidis, host of The Cats & Cosby Show on WABC 770.
“People don’t argue when they have these massive leads. They say, ‘Why should we debate?’ I would have a hostile group of anchors – a hostile network – asking questions. Why would I do that?” said the 76-year-old former president.
Trump further lamented that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, site of the second scheduled Republican presidential primary debate, “is operated by the Washington Post,” which he derided as an “enemy of the people.”
“The editor of the Washington Post is the chairman of the Reagan Library. And there would be one of the debates. I don’t want to be there,” Trump told Catsimatidis, referring to former Reagan White House aide Frederick Ryan Jr., who is now chairman of the Reagan Library and editor and CEO of the Washington Post.
Trump continued, “When you’re at the top, you don’t debate.”
The former supreme commander then repeated: “You’re going to have people at 1% and below 1% asking you questions? It’s kind of crazy.”
Recent polls show Trump is the 2024 GOP leader, but in head-to-head matches against President Biden, some polls show that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would do better than Trump.
A WPA intelligence poll released Tuesday shows Trump would lose to Biden by an average of 3.1 percent, while DeSantis, 44, would win the incumbent popular vote by an average of 1.2 percent.
An NBC News poll released Sunday also appeared to show that DeSantis, who has not said he will run for president in 2024, is closing the gap on Trump.
The poll found that 46% of GOP primary voters prefer Trump, while 31% said they would vote for DeSantis. By comparison, a Yahoo News/YouGov poll earlier this month showed Trump leading DeSantis 57% to 31% among GOP and Republican voters.
Behind Trump and DeSantis, the NBC News poll had former Vice President Mike Pence at 6%, former South Carolina Gov. and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson with 3% and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy with 2% support.
The first 2024 GOP presidential primary debate is slated for this August in Milwaukee, the Republican National Committee announced earlier this month. It will be held in partnership with Fox News, Young America’s Foundation and Rumble.
During his interview on Wednesday, Trump hinted that if he were the GOP nominee, he would be willing to debate Biden ahead of the general election.
“You have a Democrat. You have a Republican. You really have a duty to do that,” Trump said.