President Trump confirmed on Sunday by posting on Truth Social that he will not be “doing the debates.” In his post, Trump indicated that due to his high poll numbers, he believes that the public has already seen and knows his stance on his policies, which is one of the main reasons for the debates.
However, Trump’s current post does not come as a surprise since he has been indicating for months that he did not plan to participate. According to AP News, the former president had privately stated that “a debate in August would be too early and he would not participate.”
While Trump has confirmed that he will not participate in the first upcoming Milwaukee GOP debate on Wednesday, his spokesman has not clarified if he is still considering any other options later in the election cycle, according to AP News.
In lieu of skipping this week’s debate, The New York Times reported last week that Trump had scheduled an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. However, Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, told AP News that “we cannot confirm or deny — stay tuned” when asked about the interview.
There are speculations of what the former president might do if a Carlson interview is not in the works, indicating that Trump might show up at the Milwaukee debate last minute or maybe even attend but sit out to post commentary on his social media platform.
The New York Times notably reported last week that Trump had been soliciting feedback from aides and allies regarding the debates.
Fellow Republican presidential candidates have noticeably been outspoken about Trump sitting out on the debate. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took to social media last week, when reports started circulating, calling the former president a “certified loser, verified coward.”
Florida Gov. DeSantis also commented earlier in the week through a super PAC ad stating that “we can’t afford a nominee too weak to debate.”
While comments have come from opponents, it is worth noting that recent poll numbers from CBS News regarding the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination show that Trump is holding his largest lead by 46 points.