Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump seemed to agree to a debate on May 25 following a Trump interview with ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”—but now Trump has released a statement on his official website, backing out of the head-to-head political bout.
The statement opens with: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher.”
Both campaigns took shots at the other on May 26, with the Sanders campaign telling Trump not to ‘chicken out,’ and Trump saying he would debate for $10 million.
I am delighted that @realDonaldTrump has agreed to debate. Let’s do it in the biggest stadium possible.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 26, 2016
“Trump has agreed to debate me. I look forward to that. Hillary Clinton has not agreed to debate me in California so I look forward to debating Trump,” Sanders said. “I hope one of the major networks will be prepared to sponsor that debate.”
In Bismarck, North Dakota, Trump laid out his offer, saying he would do the debate if it raised “$10 million or $15 million for charity.”
“What we’ll do is raise maybe for, maybe women’s health issues or something, if we can raise $10 million or $15 million for charity, which would be a very appropriate amount. I understand the television business very well.”
The event would “get high ratings” and “should be in a big arena somewhere,” Trump said, continuing, “we could have a lot of fun with it.”