Will Republicans Running Against Trump Have Primary Debates?
The Democrats are heading into their third debate round tonight. And after tonight, more debates are planned for every month through April 2020. But will Republicans have any debates at all? More Republicans have announced that they’re running against President Donald Trump. But so far, it’s still looking like the Republicans won’t be having primary debates for the 2020 election.
Trump Has Said He’s Not Interested in Debating His Republican Opponents
Everyone remembers the 2016 Republican primary debates and how entertaining they were. Many Republicans were running for the coveted spot and Trump stood out during the debates. When the candidates were asked to raise their hands if they would support whoever ultimately won the primary, Trump was the only one who didn’t raise his hand. And then he kept talking about how he had donated to many of the candidates’ campaigns in the past.
But it looks like this time around, Trump won’t have a chance to debate the candidates running against him for 2020. Trump’s 2020 campaign is already going strong, and there are no hints of any plans by the RNC to have debates with his opponents.
The reason why both parties had debates for the primaries in 2016 was because there wasn’t an incumbent President running. But this time around, it’s different for the Republicans. They have an incumbent, so they’re not going to give a lot of attention to Trump’s opponents.
The Republicans voted down the idea of primary debates for 2020 back in May 2018, CNN reported at the time. The Republican National Committee (the RNC) voted to eliminate the Republican’s debate committee. This was their way of saying that the RNC was not going to sanction any Republican primary debates for the 2020 election. Technically, CNN noted, the RNC chair could still name a debate committee later. But this vote was the RNC’s way of letting people who would run against Trump know that they’d have a tough time and wouldn’t get the RNC’s support.
Just on Monday, Trump was asked if he would debate a Republican opponent, NBC reported. Trump responded: “I would say this: They are all at less than 1 percent. I guess it’s a publicity stunt. We just got a little while ago (a poll showing) 94 percent popularity or approval within the Republican party. So to be honest, I’m not looking to get them any credibility. They have no credibility.”
Meanwhile, some states have even canceled their primaries. South Carolina announced that it’s not holding a Republican primary in order to save the taxpayers’ money, NBC reported. They said Trump doesn’t have a legitimate primary challenger.
Nevada also decided to cancel its Republican caucus. Nevada Republican Chair Michal McDonald said in a statement: “It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte.”
Kansas will also not hold a caucus for Republicans in 2020.
Arizona Republicans also voted to cancel their primary too.
Here’s Who’s Running Against Trump
So who’s decided to try to run against Trump so far?
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who ran in the Libertarian VP spot in 2016, is running for President as a Republican.
Donald Trump, by turns arrogant and paranoid, has made no secret of the fact that he wishes to be crowned as President rather than elected. That might be fine in a monarchy, but we overthrew ours two centuries ago.https://t.co/EzHZ2yeFxJ
— Gov. Bill Weld (@GovBillWeld) September 6, 2019
Former Republican Governor Mark Sanford announced on Monday that he is running against Trump.
I am compelled to enter the Presidential Primary as a Republican for several reasons – the most important of which is to further and foster a national debate on our nation's debt, deficits and spending.
— Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) September 8, 2019
Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh is also running against Trump.
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) September 7, 2019
Both John Kasich and Bob Corker have expressed interest in running against Trump, but neither has declared.
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