RNC Chair Says It Would Be ‘A Mistake’ For Trump To Skip The First GOP Debate


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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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The Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel said Wednesday it would be “a mistake” for former President Donald Trump to skip the first GOP primary debate in August.

Trump is reportedly leaning toward opting out of the first debate and holding a countering event instead, and has also teased skipping the second debate. McDaniel has tried to convince Trump to join the other candidates on August 23, and argued it’s important to not only “get in front of those primary voters,” but also to point out the “failures” of the Biden administration, she told Fox News.

“I think it’s a mistake to not do the debate,” McDaniel told Fox News. “I think getting in front of the American people, with the Fox audience that you’re going to bring, people are clamoring for solutions. And this is an opportunity for us to contrast our ideas versus the Democrats. It’s not just about the primary. It’s also about the general election because we are going to need independent voters and others to win the White House.”

“This is where our conversation begins, and why would you walk away from [sic] 20 million-person audience?” McDaniel added. (RELATED: ‘He’s Afraid’: 2024 GOP Contenders Respond To Reports That Trump Might Skip Debates)

Trump has yet to make a final decision on whether he will participate in the debate, pointing toward his heavy lead in the polls. The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary indicates Trump is up by nearly 34 points, and is leading in all four key early primary states by double digits, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Several of Trump’s 2024 opponents have criticized the former president for considering skipping the debates. For instance, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued Trump’s “afraid” of debating and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson claimed the former president is playing the “victim card.”

“Joe Biden has the legacy media on his side. Leaving that opportunity aside and not getting on the debate stage is just more of an opportunity for Joe Biden to continue to get his message out. We have an opportunity to take up all the oxygen in the room and get on that debate stage,” said McDaniel.

Trump did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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