I Get Trump's Decision to Skip First Debate, but I Still Don't Like It
Former President Donald Trump announced on Truth Social on Sunday his decision not to participate in the first Republican primary presidential debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wednesday night—or future debates. This is no surprise, as he has all but said this was the likely road he would take. I understand his decision, but I still don’t like it.
Trump, the leading candidate—by far—among the GOP candidates made it clear in his post that his record as president speaks for itself, stating, “The public knows who I am & what a successful PRESIDENCY I had.” He listed his accomplishments as “Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more”:
He certainly isn’t wrong in what he has highlighted—from his “legendary” lead to his presidential accomplishments.
I get what Trump gets—that many want him on the debate stage to try to humiliate him, attack him, and trip him up, and the media want to use him to boost their ratings at his expense. He has made the strategic decision, therefore, not to give them anything to work with. And he has the numbers not to need to garner support for the Republican nomination. Also, let’s not forget that Fox News’s Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum are moderating the debate. He certainly has no interest in doing Fox any favors. I soured on Fox a long time ago myself.
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I still don’t like his decision, though.
The debate stage is an opportunity to highlight yet again why he is soaring. He would be the only one there who has ever been president and who has ever done the things he touts in his Truth Social post. Why not exploit that? Why not show that he can take on Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom he has been calling out? Why not out-bully Bully Chris Christie, the former failed governor of New Jersey, who has made it his mission to dis and discredit Trump? Why not show that he is well able and unafraid to take on his opponents? Now, will sitting out hurt him with his base? Not hardly, but there’s more to consider.