President Donald Trump has announced that he will not be participating in the upcoming Republican 2024 primary debate on CNN. Instead, he will be hosting a town hall on Fox News, which will be aired simultaneously with CNN’s GOP debate. The town hall on Fox News will be moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum and will be held in Des Moines, Iowa.
Both events are scheduled to take place in Des Moines on Wednesday, January 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET. These competing events will be broadcast shortly before the Iowa caucuses, as reported by Politico. Trump’s decision to skip the debate aligns with his previous strategy, which has drawn criticism from his GOP opponents.
However, despite his absence from the debates, Trump’s lead in the polls has remained strong. In fact, he has even been declared the winner in some instances following the debates. Prior to the first GOP debate in August, Trump had already announced that he would not be participating, citing his significant lead in the polls compared to the other Republican candidates.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History & much more,” Trump said.
As of now, the CNN debate scheduled for next Wednesday has confirmed the participation of Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
In terms of popularity, DeSantis and Haley are currently in a close competition in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Nevertheless, when it comes to the approaching first caucuses and primary, they are significantly trailing behind Trump.
In response to Trump’s decision to skip the debate, Haley criticized him harshly.
“With only three candidates qualifying for the CNN debate, it’s time for Donald Trump to show up,” she wrote.
“As the debate stage continues to shrink, it’s getting harder for Donald Trump to hide.”
DeSantis criticized Trump last week for his decision to abstain from participating in previous debates.
“He’s not been willing to come here and answer questions,” DeSantis told reporters in Iowa.
“He parachutes in for 30, 45-minute, hour speech and then just leaves, rather than listening to Iowans answering questions and doing, I think, what it takes to win.”
The upcoming CNN debate for the 2024 primary cycle is expected to have the smallest stage yet, as both tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have failed to meet the requirements to participate. These candidates have struggled to gain traction in Iowa and have national poll numbers below 5%. In addition, Ramaswamy has expressed his intention to hold a separate event alongside the CNN debate, referring to it as a “fake Iowa ‘debate'”.
CNN will also be hosting a debate in New Hampshire on January 21, just two days before the first-in-the-nation primary. However, it has been announced that the frontrunner, Donald Trump, plans to skip this debate as well.
In a recent interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Trump stated that he would only engage in a debate with a Republican opponent if the race is very close.
“I would debate that Republican, yeah,” Trump said.
“But it’s not close.”