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"It Would Be 'Sort of Foolish' to Go to the Republican Debate" - Donald Trump

In a recent interview with Breitbart, former President Donald Trump expressed uncertainty about participating in the upcoming Republican Party's first primary debate. The debate, to be hosted by Fox News on August 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has left Trump questioning whether it would be "foolish" to engage given his significant lead in the polls over other presidential hopefuls.

While Trump acknowledged that he enjoys debates and attributed part of his past success to them, he pointed out that leading by such a substantial margin in the polls makes it seem unnecessary. According to the latest Morning Consult poll, 58 percent of respondents expressed support for Trump, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis trailed far behind in second place with only 15 percent of support.

With such a commanding lead, Trump believes the other candidates' low polling numbers might not create an engaging debate. He expressed concerns about being asked hostile questions, and he even suggested that the audience's interest might dwindle if he decides not to participate.

“I haven’t totally made a decision. I like the debates. I might be here because of the debates. I might have won against Hillary Clinton with the debates, and I might have gotten the nomination because of the debates,” Mr. Trump said.

“But when you’re leading by 50 and 60 points against these people, and you have people at zero, and 1 and 2—and then they’re going to be asking me hostile questions, and they probably won’t have much of an audience if I’m not in the debates according to what I read,” Mr. Trump continued. “If I’m not in the debates, then they’re not going to have a very big audience. It seems almost like it would be foolish to do them.”

Drawing a parallel to former President Ronald Reagan, who skipped a debate in 1980, Trump highlighted the precedent for candidates opting out of debates. Furthermore, he voiced reluctance to put himself up against what he considers a "hostile network" in Fox News, which is hosting the event.

Despite Trump's reservations, he has not made a final decision and sought feedback from his supporters at a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. The crowd's response was a resounding "no" to his participation in the debate.

Trump also took to his Truth Social account, where he humorously suggested that the debate might be a contest to find his potential running mate. The post read, "Let them debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!"

Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis, seen as Trump's primary rival for the GOP nomination, has confirmed his intention to participate in the debate regardless of Trump's decision. He firmly believes that all candidates should earn their nomination and urged Trump to make his case and face tough questions like the rest of the contenders.

Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, also weighed in, stating that skipping the debate would be a mistake for Trump. McDaniel argued that avoiding the debate would offer President Joe Biden more opportunities to advance his message without any counterarguments from the Republican side.

As the debate date approaches, the political world is eagerly awaiting Trump's final decision. Given his significant lead in the polls, it remains to be seen whether he will ultimately take part in the event or maintain his position from the sidelines.


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