Donald Trump has decided to forgo a televised debate where he would have faced Megyn Kelly once again, despite the lineup of five contenders who participated in a recent Miami event.
The contenders, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, have generally shied away from direct confrontation with Trump, who is leading significantly in polls.
Trump’s stance on participating in debates remains unchanged, citing his substantial lead in national and state polling as justification. At a rally in Hialeah, Florida, he lambasted the Republican establishment for backing candidates he described as weak.
“It’s time for the Republican establishment to stop wasting time and resources trying to push weak and ineffective RINOS and Never Trumpers that nobody wants and nobody’s going to vote for,” Trump said.
“In the primary, we’re leading the field with an average of 61% for Trump, and you have about, what, seven or eight candidates left? I think they’re at a debate tonight. Nobody’s talking about it,” he also said.
DeSantis and Haley, who are vying for the runner-up position, continue to make their case to voters. DeSantis commented on the need for Trump to participate in debates to earn voter support, while Haley’s campaign emphasized her standing as a strong candidate against both Trump and Biden.
“I think you’re going to see — because I’m on the ground in the early states — voters are now starting to really pay attention,” DeSantis said. “It is going to hurt him if he’s not willing to debate going forward because voters expect you to earn their vote.”
Haley’s team asserted her prowess, stating, “With arrows flying at her, she stood her ground and offered moral clarity in a world of chaos.”
Despite Trump’s absence from debates, his campaign continues to critique DeSantis and Haley, suggesting their political prospects are diminishing.
“They are going nowhere, and at this point, every dollar sent to their campaigns or their SuperPACs may as well be going directly to Joe Biden. Donald J. Trump is going to be the next President of the United States,” senior adviser Chris LaCivita stated. “It’s up to DeSantis and Haley to determine if they want a political future … or not.”
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