In the Wednesday night discussion, eight Republican contenders for president argued that their party should replace Donald Trump in 2024, but the outgoing president argued that everyone else is irrelevant.
NEW YORK — In the Wednesday night discussion, eight Republican contenders for president argued that their party should replace Donald Trump in 2024, but the outgoing president argued that everyone else is irrelevant.
Early front-runner for the nomination Trump opted to participate in a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, which was posted Wednesday night on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, rather than attend the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee. Five minutes before the debate began, the interview was made available online.
Do I have to endure being hounded by people who shouldn’t even be running for president for an hour or two, or however long it takes? During the 46-minute interview, Trump remarked. Should I be performing that task at a network that isn’t very accommodating to me?
Asa Hutchinson, a former governor of Arkansas, was one of Trump’s early targets. He called him “nasty,” and used him and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as examples of people who shouldn’t be on the debate stage. Trump has received criticism and the opinion that he shouldn’t be a candidate for president from both Christie and Hutchinson.
“I’m going to have a lot of people yell at me and ask me questions, all of which I love to respond to. But doing them wouldn’t make sense, so I’m passing,” Trump remarked.
Trump, who is dealing with a slew of legal issues and is expected to turn himself in for booking on Thursday in Georgia on state charges of conspiring to rig the 2020 presidential election, has said it would be beneath him to participate in the Milwaukee debate with the other candidates given his significant lead in the polls.
His ongoing conflict with the debate’s host, Fox News Channel, appeared to influence his choice.
Hours before the debate, Trump criticized two Fox hosts and berated the network in a post on his Truth social media network.
Then, after bragging about his poll results, he wrote: “FOX NEWS REFUSES TO POST OR DISCUSS.”
His third run for the White House has occurred as a result of his continuous support for people who advocate radical ideologies and conspiracies, as well as his decision to center his campaign around false assertions regarding the 2016 election.
That is leaned on by joining Carlson rather than engaging in debate. The former Fox personality propagated the idea that white people are being “replaced” by people of color and circulated false information about problems including the war in Ukraine and the protests scheduled for the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
After attempting to engage Trump in conspiracy theories about disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Carlson followed up by insinuating that his political adversaries might pose a threat to his life, which Trump didn’t deny.
“They’re wild animals. They are sick individuals, unfortunately. awfully ill. You have fantastic people that are Democrats in the Democrat Party, Trump added. But I’ve witnessed what they do and the depths to which they will go.
He added, “I think getting rid of you was a terrible move,” to his remarks to Carlson.
The evening before the interview, Trump gave a speech at a charity event held at his golf club in New Jersey for the Patriot Freedom Project, which stands up for the insurrection-related defendants.
Trump has maintained his leadership position within the party despite facing growing legal risk in four different criminal proceedings including his attempts to reverse his 2020 election defeat, accusations that he handled sensitive documents improperly, and hush money payments meant to conceal extramarital affair allegations.
The day after the debate, he will appear in Georgia to address accusations in a large-scale racketeering prosecution connected to his attempts to have the results of the state’s 2020 election overturned. This will be his fourth appearance as a criminal defendant this year.
Despite the legal difficulties, poll results indicate that his popularity among Republicans is still high.
Several Fox News executives and personalities had urged Trump to take part in the debate prior to his Sunday announcement that he would not be attending. Despite the fact that many hosts on the network have supported Trump over the years, the former president has been griping about what he considers to be unfair treatment ever since he left office.
It also appears that his choice to sit alongside Carlson was made to make a statement to the network, which earlier this year fired the host. The network gave no explanation, although it happened soon after Fox settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million over the network’s coverage of false claims made by Trump during the 2020 election.
Trump and his campaign have not specified if he will miss all of the Republican debates, or at least those that have been publicly advertised. Because Fred Ryan, the publisher and CEO of the Washington Post, is the chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, he has voiced his displeasure with the choice of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, as the site for the second debate in September.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who is in Milwukee on behalf of the Trump campaign, said that since Trump is currently leading in the polls, it would be “pointless” for him to engage in a debate.
In an interview on Wednesday, she stated, “There’s nothing that he has to prove on that stage with them.” “They have a strong case to make against him,”
Even his closest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has criticized Trump for not going far enough to implement his goals, has endorsed many of the candidates participating in the discussion. The vice president of Trump, Mike Pence, his U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, and the former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who also served as the head of his 2016 transition team, all worked for Trump.
Former Democratic congressman Cedric Richmond, a co-chair of President Joe Biden’s campaign, told reporters on Tuesday that “they’re all operating from the same playbook and they’re all endorsing the same unpopular positions that Donald Trump led with and he continues to drag this party to the extreme.” And so, his extremist agenda will be present whether he is on stage or not.