Former President Donald Trump indicated on Tuesday that he will not participate in any primary debates ahead of the party’s 2024 nomination.
“I see that everybody is talking about the Republican Debates, but nobody got my approval, or the approval of the Trump Campaign, before announcing them,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social. “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?” he argued. “Also, the Second Debate is being held at the Reagan Library, the Chairman of which is, amazingly, Fred Ryan, Publisher of The Washington Post. NO!” he concluded.
The party out of power traditionally holds multiple debates during the presidential nomination process.
Trump is facing a potentially crowded Republican field that already includes former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, conservative pundit Larry Elder, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson and investor Vivek Ramaswamy. Republicans who have not yet declared include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, former Indiana Governor, Vice President Mike Pence, and Mike Rogers, a former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from Michigan.
Environmental lawyer and vaccine safety activist Robert Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, a bestselling author and spiritualist, have both announced they are running on the Democratic side.
“Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours,” RFK Jr. tweeted on Tuesday.
“I have known and liked Joe Biden for many years, but we differ profoundly on fundamental issues such as corporate influence in government, censorship, civil liberties, poverty, corruption, and war policy, among others. I look forward to engaging him in debates and town hall meetings, in a primary election that is honest, civil, and transparent. I invite him into a new era of respectful dialog in these times of division,” he continued. Kennedy added that as a “multi-generational Democrat,” he feels the Democrat party “has gone off track.”
Remember when we upheld the interests of the poor and middle class against big corporations and Wall Street? Remember when we were the party of peace, civil liberties, and people power? I aim to reclaim my party and its traditional values.
The Washington Post reported last week that national Democrat Party said it was supporting Biden, and had “no plans to sponsor primary debates.”
The Republican Party didn’t hold any primary debates when presidents Trump, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were running for their reelections either, Newsweek pointed out.
Similarly, the Democratic Party didn’t run any primary debates in 2012, when President Barack Obama was seeking reelection, though one was organized independently involving seven minor candidates. Nor did President Bill Clinton take part in any Democratic National Committee-run debates ahead of his reelection in 1996.
While there is no history of Republicans or Democrats organizing primary debates when they have an incumbent in the White House seeking a second term, Biden’s reelection bid in 2024 could be the exception to the rule due to his historic unpopularity.
A recent NBC poll showed that a stunning 70 percent of Americans—including 53 percent of Democrats— do not want him to run again.
NBC POLL: Only 26% of Americans think Biden should run for reelection. 70% say he should not run. pic.twitter.com/yvyb9X4fq5
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 24, 2023
Biden proudly touted the poll when asked about it, crowing that 92 percent of Democrats said they would vote for him if he was the Democrat nominee.
Biden says, “READ THE POLLS, JACK!”
The polls say just 26% of Americans want Biden to run for re-election. pic.twitter.com/e0G3Sfufwm
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 25, 2023
The 80-year-old officially announced his 2024 campaign on Tuesday in a Jan. 6 themed video where he warned that “MAGA extremists” are lining up to take away “bedrock freedoms.” He framed the 2024 election as a “battle for the soul of America.”
Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 25, 2023
Biden continued to rail against the so-called “MAGA extremists” during remarks before the North America’s Building Trades Unions, Tuesday, although the ferocity of his message was blunted by his inability to read the teleprompter properly.
Biden vs. teleprompter: "The Speaker, the former president, and the 'MAGA extremists' are cut from the different cloth. They treat these folks, they treat these folks…" pic.twitter.com/7qvvma5OXf
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 25, 2023