GOP front-runner Donald Trump has decided not to participate in the next Republican primary debate, after Fox News refused to replace debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
“Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away. Roger Ailes and FOX News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games,” the Trump campaign said in a statement.
“There have already been six debates, and according to all online debate polls including Drudge, Slate, Time Magazine, and many others, Mr. Trump has won all of them, in particular the last one.”
Trump has criticized Kelly for treating him unfairly and holding a grudge against him, and asked Fox News to find a new moderator for the debate. The network refused, and has even released statements mocking Trump.
“We learned from a secret back-channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president,” Fox News said in a statement.
“A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”
The comments are apparently a jab at Trump for polling his Twitter followers on whether or not he should participate in the debate.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2016
Kelly has asked Trump tough questions in the past, and in a Republican debate in August, pressed him on remarks he previously made about women.
“You once told a contestant on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ [that] it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?” Kelly asked.
Trump replied: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I have been challenged by so many people. I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness. To be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time, either.”
Nationwide, as of Jan. 26, Trump was in the lead with support from 40 percent of Republicans, with Ted Cruz at a distant second at 15.2 percent, according to a Reuters poll.