Op-ed by Elad Hakim | Photo: Alamy
The first GOP debate for the primary presidential race will take place in August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. President Donald Trump need not attend the debate for a variety of reasons, some of which are discussed here.
Trump has no reason to appear
Putting aside the ridiculous Republican “pledge of support” imposed on all debate participants, Trump has a more compelling reason why he need not attend: He is winning.
The benefit Trump has over the other candidates is that he has been president before, people know where he stands on various issues, he has consistently put up videos explaining the policies he promotes, and has a proven track record of success on the national and international stage.
If Trump attends the debate, he is simply going to be harassed and attacked by one or both moderators and the other candidates, most of whom don’t stand a chance of beating him and none of which are even competitive against Trump right now.
If history is any indication of what to expect, Trump will likely be asked the toughest and most inflammatory questions while his opponents field softballs. Trump will also likely not be permitted to finish answering the questions and will likely face various interruptions, all of which are meant to hurt his candidacy.
Trump has nothing to prove
Truth be told, Trump has nothing to prove. What you see is what you get, which is a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails, master negotiator who has risked everything for the American people, whom he genuinely cares about. Importantly, he is not beholden to any special interest groups, unlike most of the other candidates running for office.
There are better alternatives
Rather than attending the debate, Trump should speak to the American people during that time. He could do so by way of a rally or by hosting a Twitter Space. A rally is a better bet given the Twitter Space fiasco associated with another candidate’s recent announcement.
By holding a rally and speaking directly to the American people, Trump can lay out his mission for America, explain his policies in detail, speak to the American people from the heart, explain how he differs from his competitors, and reaffirm why he is the best choice to save America.
Conversely, Trump could go live with someone like Tucker Carlson and critique the various candidates and their answers in real-time. Given Carlson’s reach and popularity and the clout Trump carries, Americans would undoubtedly tune in.
Trump can do all these things without participating in the debate. He can do so without facing personal and one-sided attacks by possible partisan moderators and a group of Republican candidates who have no chance of winning and who will be there simply to try to hurt and take Trump down. It is akin to stepping into the ring against an inferior boxer where there is no benefit, yet you run the risk of injury.
There is no reason for Trump to engage in this “fight.” He is winning and Americans trust him to make America great again.
For now, he should talk to the American people and remind them why he is best suited to be the Republican nominee and, ultimately, president.
Unlike the other candidates, he has the presidential record to support his strong assertions. His argument isn’t merely “look what I have done in Florida.” Rather, it is “I have been president before. I received millions of additional votes in 2020. America was in great shape under my leadership, I have the record to prove it, and I will do an even better job this time around.”
This is a very powerful and convincing message that no other candidate can make.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, The Jenna Ellis Show, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not constitute legal advice.