Trump: ‘People know my record…so why would I debate?’

Former President Trump late Thursday added to speculation swirling around whether or not he would attend the Republican debates, which begin next week.

“Many people are asking whether or not I will be doing the DEBATES? ALL AMERICANS have been clamoring for a President of extremely High Intelligence. As everyone is aware, my Poll numbers, over a ‘wonderful’ field of Republican candidates, are extraordinary,” he said in a Truth Social post.

“In fact, I am leading the runner up, whoever that may now be, by more than 50 Points. Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others,” he added. “People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate? I’M YOUR MAN. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump has previously said attending the first debate would be unnecessary because he is doing so well in polling. According to national polling averages, he has about 54 percent support among Republicans, far ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is in second place at 15 percent.

While his lead is large, it isn’t historic. Polling margins so far are comparable to the final results of some previous GOP primaries, including Mitt Romney’s nomination in 2012, Bob Dole’s in 1996 and Ronald Reagan’s in 1980.

Despite his previous statements, Trump has yet to outright say whether or not he will be on the stage in Wisconsin next Wednesday. 

Additionally, the former president has so far refused to sign the Republican Party’s loyalty pledge, which would bind him to support the GOP nominee, whomever it may be. That’s a requirement to be allowed into the debate, but Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said Thursday that she believes Trump will come around.

“He’s signed the pledge before. He signed it to get on the South Carolina ballot,” McDaniel said. “I have a feeling if he wants to be on the debate stage, he’s going to sign that pledge.”

In late July, Trump said that the debate was merely an opportunity for him to test out potential running mates instead of studying his rivals.

Trump is not prepping for the debate and is considering his own counterprogramming in the evening time slot, CNN reported earlier this week, with an interview with Tucker Carlson or calling into multiple news shows listed as possibilities.

Trump’s refusal to announce a final debate decision has drawn the ire of his primary rivals, many of whom have said they want the former president on the stage.

A pro-DeSantis ad on Wednesday, for example, called Trump “too weak to debate.”

“We need a nominee with stamina,” the Never Back Down super PAC ad said. “A nominee who’s sharp.”

Fellow 2024 GOP White House hopeful Chris Christie, a former New Jersey governor, and longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove have also pressured the former president into attending.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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