It’s official: Donald Trump won’t be participating in the first Republican presidential debate. This was confirmed by the former president himself, the great favorite to win the GOP nomination, in a publication on Truth Social.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump announced Sunday night. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
The publication also suggests that the Republican frontrunner has decided not to participate in any of the debates, not just the first, although that will be confirmed later.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported on Aug. 18 that Trump has already taped an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson which will be posted online, possibly on X, at the same time as the Fox debate in Milwaukee.
In addition to skipping the debate, Trump did not sign the loyalty pledge that the Republican National Committee wrote as a requirement to enter the debates, which states that all Republican candidates must support the party’s eventual nominee.
Trump’s decision not to attend the debate has drawn criticism from some candidates, most notably the DeSantis campaign.
“We can’t afford a nominee who is too weak to debate,” stoked an ad for a super PAC supporting Florida’s governor, who is second in the race for the Republican nomination according to multiple polls.
However, Trump repeatedly mentioned that his absence from the debate was not because of “fear” but because he has a significant advantage over the other candidates, and getting on stage with them was not smart.
“Why would I allow people at 1 or 2% and 0% to be hitting me with questions all night?” Trump said in June during a debate with Fox News host Bret Baier.