The Republican National Committee has shared details on the first two presidential primary debates for the 2024 election. The debates are set to be hosted by Fox News and Rumble, with the first one scheduled for August in Milwaukee and the second one at the Reagan Library. Despite the RNC's confirmation of the debates with all declared candidates and campaigns, doubts have arisen regarding Donald Trump's participation.
Is Trump About to Torpedo the 2024 Primary Debates? https://t.co/ckgmChijWZ
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 25, 2023
Trump expressed his concerns on Truth Social, stating that neither he nor his campaign had approved the debates' announcement. In addition, Trump criticized the moderators, claiming that they are affiliated with hostile networks with anchors who hate Trump and MAGA, posing questions.
It appears that Trump is hesitant to expose himself to "defamation and mistreatment," especially with a commanding lead that seems insurmountable. Nevertheless, participating in the debates may not have any significant downside for him, considering his success in the 2016 debates where he branded his rivals with memorable nicknames and created viral facial expressions in response to their comments.
However, Trump's reluctance to participate in the debates is not unprecedented, as he skipped debates during both of his previous presidential campaigns. During the 2016 Republican primary season, Trump pulled out of a debate just before it was due to take place. Similarly, in the run-up to the 2020 election, he backed out of a town hall-style debate with Joe Biden after the format was changed to an online event.
In addition, the leading candidate has a track record of suggesting that he may defy the formal RNC-endorsed primary procedure. During the initial GOP debate in 2016, he declined to commit to a party loyalty oath to endorse the Republican nominee in the future, holding out for approximately a month before eventually agreeing. Given his tendency to employ the "Art of the Deal" negotiating strategy, Trump's approach to the 2024 election is expected to be thrilling and tumultuous for all parties involved.