Trump Skipping Yet Another Debate

Leaving just Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis to participate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2024 1:30 AM CST
Trump Skipping Yet Another Debate
Former President Donald Trump listens as he speaks with reporters while in flight on his plane after a campaign rally at Waco Regional Airport, in Waco, Texas, March 25, 2023, while en route to West Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Another Republican debate, another event for former President Trump to skip. CNN has a primary debate scheduled for next Wednesday night in Iowa, but instead of attending that, Trump will participate in a Fox News town hall in Iowa scheduled for the same start time of 9pm Eastern, Politico reports. CNN reported Tuesday that just Trump, Nikki Haley, and Ron DeSantis met the network's qualification requirements for the debate, and Haley and DeSantis have both committed to participating. Trump, however, will instead be at the Des Moines town hall moderated by Fox anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum (who hosted the August debate on Fox that Trump also skipped).

Both Haley and DeSantis were speaking out against that decision. "With only three candidates qualifying, it's time for Donald Trump to show up. As the debate stage continues to shrink, it's getting harder for Donald Trump to hide," Haley said in a statement. Said a DeSantis rep, "We understand Donald Trump is scared to get on the stage because he'd have to finally explain why he didn't build the wall, added nearly $8 trillion to the debt, and turned the country over to Fauci. If it would make the debate more inviting, we would gladly agree to make it a seated format where the former president would be more comfortable." Trump is also expected to skip another CNN debate planned for New Hampshire later this month. The Iowa caucuses will be held January 15, and New Hampshire's primary is January 23. (More Election 2024 stories.)

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