Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel has reportedly implored former president Donald Trump to participate in the inaugural Republican Party 2024 presidential debate this coming August 23.
According to sources cited by the Washington Post, McDaniel has held in-depth discussions with Trump, arguing that his absence from the debate would serve to make him a target of the other candidates. This is rooted in the belief that his lack of presence would leave him unable to defend himself against possible criticisms or attacks.
The outlet reported:
But according to one Trump adviser, the former president is “highly unlikely to participate” — though he could always change his mind and continues to ask associates about the benefits and drawbacks of participating, the adviser said.
Despite the public pleadings of Fox News personalities, it’s the Republican National Committee that has been most active in lobbying him to attend. Trump met on Monday at his Bedminster club with Ronna McDaniel, the Republican Party chairwoman, and David Bossie, a longtime Trump adviser who is helping lead the RNC’s debate efforts.
Both told Trump that he should participate in the debates, according to four people familiar with the meeting. McDaniel, in particular, has argued to Trump that the other candidates will be talking about him, so he should be there to respond. But Trump has countered that his participation would only help his competitors by bringing higher ratings to a debate that would get lower ratings without him.
Trump has previously hinted at not appearing at the Fox News-hosted debate scheduled for August.
“I see that everybody is talking about the Republican Debates, but nobody got my approval, or the approval of the Trump Campaign, before announcing them,” Trump wrote on the social media platform Truth Social.
Trump added that he didn’t see the logic in sharing a debate stage given his significant lead in polls and the perceived bias of network anchors against him and the MAGA movement. He questioned the necessity of subjecting himself to potential misrepresentation and criticism in debates.
“When you’re leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers, and you have the hostile Networks with angry TRUMP & MAGA hating anchors asking the ‘questions,’ why subject yourself to being libeled and abused?” Trump wrote.
“I’m leading by 40 points. A lot of people say, ‘Why would you do a debate when you have people at two and three and fifteen and fourteen [percent]?’” Trump told John Catsimatidis, host of the “Cats & Cosby Show” on WABC 770.
“People don’t debate when they have these massive leads. They say, ‘Why would we debate?’ I would have a hostile group of anchors — a hostile network — asking questions. Why would I do that?” the former president said, per New York Post.
“Also, the Second Debate is being held at the Reagan Library, the Chairman of which is, amazingly, Fred Ryan, Publisher of The Washington Post. NO!” Trump added on his Truth Social post.
Insiders suggest that Trump is considering hosting his own competing event with Tucker Carlson in response to the GOP Primary debate with Fox News.
If this happens, it will be yet another step towards independent journalism displacing traditional TV MSM.
The numbers for a Tucker/Trump 1on1 would dwarf the Fox debate, and the establishment DESPERATELY do not want you to see that.
The Legacy MSM is becoming obsolete. pic.twitter.com/qCNhzvflkY
— Clandestine (@WarClandestine) July 23, 2023