President Trump made it official Sunday evening, he will not be participating in the Republican presidential debates. Trump cited the latest poll, one released Sunday by CBS News/YouGov that has him up by 46 points above his nearest rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Trump added, “The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had.”
While Trump did not confirm in the statement an interview with Tucker Carlson to counter the debate Wednesday, ABC News reported he has already taped an interview as counter-programming.
The first GOP debate is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee and will hosted by the Fox News Channel. The second debate is scheduled for September 27 at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California and will be hosted by the Fox Business Network.
Trump’s statement posted to Truth Social, “New CBS POLL, just out, has me leading the field by “legendary” numbers. TRUMP 62%, 46 Points above DeSanctimonious (who is crashing like an ailing bird!), Ramaswamy 7%, Pence 5%, Scott 3%, Haley 2%, Sloppy Chris Christie 2%, “Aida” Hutchinson 1%. The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more. I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
The CBS report on the poll opened with a lede sure to break Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s heart:
Well, there’s no debate about this: Right now, the Republican Party would easily re-nominate Donald Trump for 2024. And it’s not close.
The former president now holds his largest lead over his rivals in our polling amid his recent legal troubles. In fact, most of his voters cite those troubles as yet one more reason to show him support.
His nearest — but not too near — rival Ron DeSantis has fallen even further back. Everyone else is in single digits.
“Trump’s track record Among GOP primary voters considering him: Nearly all (99 percent!) say things were better under Trump & (95 percent!) that he fights for people like them. Most say they have always been a supporter. These appear to contribute to a powerful “incumbency advantage” for Trump.”
Trump’s track record
Among GOP primary voters considering him:
Nearly all say things were better under Trump & that he fights for people like them.
Most say they have always been a supporter.
These appear to contribute to a powerful “incumbency advantage” for Trump. pic.twitter.com/5qeUiQBnte
— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) August 20, 2023
As of a Sunday morning report by CBS, several candidates had met the qualifications set by the Republican National Committee for the debate (excerpt):
The Republican National Committee set polling and fundraising benchmarks that candidates must meet by Aug. 21 to appear on the debate stage on Aug. 23: 40,000 individual campaign donors (including 20 states with at least 200 voters each) and at least 1% support in three national polls, or two national polls and one poll from an early presidential primary state. Candidates must also sign a “loyalty pledge” to support the Republican nominee.
Trump, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy and Doug Burgum say they’ve met the RNC’s criteria, though Trump and Christie have not signed the nominee loyalty pledge.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s campaign claimed Friday that he has qualified, but a Republican National Committee staffer familiar with the debate planning told CBS News that he has not officially made the debate yet.
ABC News reported Sunday that Trump has pre-recorded an interview with Tucker Carlson (likely to be streamed on X-Twitter) as counter-programming for Wednesday’s debate:
Trump has pre-recorded sit-down intv w/ Tucker Carlson, as counter-programming to 1st GOP debate, source tells ABC
Some candidates putting on pressure -Chris Christie calls Trump a “coward”
Trump has until Friday to turn himself in to Georgia jail. Debate on Wed@GMA @GioBenitez pic.twitter.com/XDbisr62kG
— Selina Wang (@selinawangtv) August 20, 2023