RNC’s Ronna McDaniel Reacts to Trump’s Threat to Skip Debates

RNC’s Ronna McDaniel Reacts to Trump’s Threat to Skip Debates
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, in Dana Point, Calif., on Jan. 27, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

The head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) says former President Donald Trump is free to not participate in the 2024 presidential debates.

Trump recently suggested he would skip the primary debates in part because polls suggest he has a large lead over other declared Republican candidates.

“That’s his choice. And every candidate is going to make that calculation,” Ronna McDaniel, head of the RNC, told “Fox News Sunday.”

“What I think the American people want to see is these candidates; they want to see what they’re articulating, and especially, what is your plan to take us out of the misery of Joe Biden,” she said.

Trump had also written that he wasn’t consulted about the two debates the RNC has announced.

“When you’re leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers, and you have hostile Networks with angry, TRUMP & MAGA-hating anchors asking the ‘questions,’ why subject yourself to being libeled and abused?” Trump wrote on Truth Social, his social media platform.

RNC officials have been in touch with the campaigns of all Republican candidates and some GOP members who are considering running, according to McDaniel.

“I’ve talked to President Trump. Dave Bossie, who’s running the debate committees, talked and met with all the candidates. Yes, we’re talking with them all the time,” McDaniel said.

But McDaniel acknowledged that candidates weren’t being asked to weigh in on certain details.

“We’re not asking them where should we have it, who should be the moderators—that would be inappropriate,” she said.

An RNC source told The Epoch Times that the organization’s officials have been communicating about details such as debate formats and that the RNC hasn’t released the format for either debate yet because it’s waiting to hear back from some of the campaigns.

One of the debates is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hosted by Fox News, it’s slated to be held in August. The other debate is set to happen at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. No date or host has been listed for the second debate as of yet.

Trump has noted that Fred Ryan, chair of the Reagan Library, is also the publisher of The Washington Post.

Besides Trump, the field of Republican candidates includes former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden is running for another term, and lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and writer Marianne Williamson have announced their campaigns.

John Haughey contributed to this report.
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
Related Topics