On Sept. 27, the Republican National Committee (RNC) hosted the second presidential primary debate for this election season.
As expected, the GOP frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, was absent, leaving seven other candidates on stage to make their case for why voters should choose them.
In most polls, Trump holds a 30- to 43-point lead over second place primary challengers, which has led many to render the debate as an exercise in futility, given the mathematical near-impossibility of dethroning Trump as the Republican Party’s eventual nominee.
After the debate, the Trump campaign’s press office sent out a statement calling the debate “boring and inconsequential,” while urging the RNC to cancel all future primary debates to consolidate efforts to defeat President Joe Biden in next year’s general election.
The statement from Trump campaign Senior Advisor Chris LaCivita reads:
Tonight’s GOP debate was as boring and inconsequential as the first debate, and nothing that was said will change the dynamics of the primary contest being dominated by President Trump. 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. The RNC should immediately put an end to any further primary debates so we can train our fire on Crooked Joe Biden and quit wasting time and money that could be going to evicting Biden from the White House.
A late-night column posted by Karen Tumulty, Washington Post deputy opinion editor and columnist, called the debate “pointless,” mostly because of Trump’s absence.
Advisors have said that the former president — given his massive lead over his challengers, and a four-year record in the White House — has nothing to gain from appearing in the debate and trading barbs.
“That left the seven candidates on the stage here talking over each other and repeating shopworn lines from their stump speeches,” Tumulty wrote.
Earlier in the day, a column published by Vox called the debate “a cosplay of a competitive election” given Trump’s lead and momentum.
“At this point, the only things that could stop Trump are his death or incapacitation,” the trio of writers proclaimed.
“Everyone in the political world — including the debate’s organizers and non-delusional rival candidates — is aware of this fact,” they added. “Trump isn’t participating in the debates because he doesn’t need to: He would be lowering himself to share a stage with people who pretend to be rivals, but are really just the warm-up act for his coronation.”