Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to trying to dodge debating Hillary Clinton, and the Republican Party announced that they are standing with Trump.
Trump claimed that the NFL sent him a letter complaining about the debate schedule, “I got a letter from the NFL saying, ‘This is ridiculous. Why are the debates against –,’ because the NFL doesn’t want to go against the debates.”
According to the NFL, there was no letter, “We did not write a letter, but we obviously prefer the debates on a different night than scheduled games.”
The RNC is playing dumb and acting like they never heard of the debate schedule that was set by a bipartisan commission in 2015.
Here is RNC Chair Reince Priebus on Face The Nation saying that the party will support Trump’s debate date protest:
DICKERSON: We turn now to the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. He’s in Racine, Wisconsin, this morning.
Mr. Chairman, Paul Manafort says that Donald Trump wants to participate in the debates, but it doesn’t sound like a full-blown commitment. Is there anything unfair about the way the debates are set up now at this moment?
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, we’re going to be working with the commission, John, in what they’re putting together.
Certainly, we’re not going to agree with anything that our nominee doesn’t agree with. And it would be incumbent upon them to communicate with us and others about what they have in mind. But we’re not going to be having debates on Saturday and Sunday nights, I don’t believe.
It’s up to the nominee of both parties to make that that decision, but certainly the RNC is going to be involved in supporting our nominee and his position on this. My personal view is, is that we need maximize the audience and that’s going to be either a Tuesday, Wednesday or a Thursday night. And that’s where we stand on the issue.
The American people have seen this movie before. Trump pulled the same tricks to get changes in the Republican primary debates. Here is what is going to happen next. Trump is going to threaten the bipartisan debate commission with not showing up for the first presidential debate. Trump is going to demand changes to the debate location, format, and date. Trump is going to want a studio audience. If all of his conditions aren’t met, Trump will threaten to hold his own event on debate night.
The problem is that Donald Trump is losing, and he needs the debates way more than the debates need him. If Trump bailed, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson would probably be tapped to take his place. Trump is already losing to support to former Gov. Johnson, and if he fails to show up at the debate, Trump will only give the Libertarian revolt against the GOP a national platform.
Donald Trump is trying to create drama, and the Republican Party is so weak that they are unable to bring Trump into line.
What this is really about is that Trump is afraid to debate Hillary Clinton. In a traditional presidential debate, Clinton will expose and possibly humiliate her Republican opponent.
Donald Trump is running scared, which is why he is already doing everything he can to avoid debating Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association