Former President Donald Trump’s campaign released a statement calling for the Republican National Committee (RNC) to cancel the upcoming Republican primary debate.
The statement, issued by the Trump campaign’s senior advisors Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, further called for the RNC to cancel all future debates in order to “refocus manpower and money” and “prevent Democrats’ efforts to steal the 2024 election.”
“Anything less, along with other reasons not to cancel, are an admission to the grassroots that their concerns about voter integrity are not taken seriously and national Republicans are more concerned about helping Joe Biden than ensuring a safe and secure election,” the statement reads.
JUST IN: Trump campaign senior advisors Susie Wiles and @LaCivitaC just released a new statement calling on the RNC to cancel the upcoming GOP debate in Miami and end all future debates in order to stop wasting GOP resources so that we can bolster our elections and prevent… pic.twitter.com/NB1fIvV91T
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) October 3, 2023
The third Republican primary is set to take place in Miami on Nov. 8.
The first two debates were hosted by Fox News and held in Milwaukee and Simi Valley, California, respectively. Trump’s absence dominated the first two debates.
During the Milwaukee debate, candidates were infamously asked to raise their hand if they would support the former president if he secured the nomination. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy immediately shot his hand up, followed by former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott along with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum after some hesitation. Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson did not raise his hand. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visually looked over at fellow candidates before raising his hand. The Florida governor said he was hesitant to raise his hand because candidates had reportedly agreed not to participate in a hand-raising stunt.
During the Simi Valley debate, DeSantis and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called out Trump’s absence. Christie said Trump was “ducking” the debates and said people will start calling him “Donald Duck.” DeSantis said the former President was “missing in action” and criticized Trump’s recent reference to Florida’s six-week abortion Heartbeat Bill as a “terrible mistake.”
“He’s had a lot to say about that,” DeSantis said of Florida’s Heartbeat Bill. “He should be here explaining his comments to try to say that pro-life protections are somehow a terrible thing.”
Shortly after Wednesday’s debate in Simi Valley, LaCivita released a statement referring to the debate as “boring and inconsequential.”
“Nothing that was said will change the dynamics of the primary contest being dominated by President Trump,” LaCivita wrote. “President Trump has a 40- or 50-point lead in the primary election and a 10-point lead over Joe Biden in the general election, and it’s clear that President Trump alone can defeat Biden.”
Just IN: Trump Campaign releases statement on tonight’s #GOPDebate
“Tonight’s GOP debate was as boring and inconsequential as the first debate” pic.twitter.com/ln0oqqzp21
— Anthony Cabassa (@AnthonyCabassa_) September 28, 2023
In an interview following the second Republican debate, DeSantis proposed a debate with Trump.
“Maybe we can say, since the former President didn’t come here, maybe he’d be willing to do [a debate] with you and I,” DeSantis told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I think he owes it to our voters to come and make the case.”
Trump did not respond to DeSantis’ offer.