Ronna McDaniel downplays Trump talk of skipping debates: ‘That’s his choice… people want to see’

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel downplayed the idea that former President Donald J. Trump will skip the party’s upcoming debates as primary season approaches and the process of choosing a nominee who is best suited to defeat the deeply unpopular Joe Biden prepares to kick into high gear.

The recently reelected RNC boss discussed Trump’s implied threat that he would sit out the debates this time around with the current frontrunner expressing skepticism that the deck wouldn’t be stacked against him as it was the first time that he ran for the nomination when he was sandbagged by moderators who sided with other candidates and repeatedly sprung ambush questions.

(Video: Fox News)

McDaniel appeared on “Fox News Sunday” where she was pressed by anchor Shannon Bream on the former president’s remarks which drew criticism as well as support, illustrating the ongoing friction between the GOP establishment and the America First movement that Trump represents.

“What I do know is we’re gonna have a great field and the next president of the United States is gonna be on our debate stage,” she said.

Bream then played remarks from Trump that he made during an interview with WABC radio, suggesting that since he is “way up” in the polls that participation in the debates isn’t necessary, as well as a social media post citing his “insurmountable” lead and “hostile” television networks.

What happens if he doesn’t show up?” Bream asked.

“That’s his choice,” McDaniel responded. “And every candidate is going to make that calculation, they’re gonna decide ‘When do I announce?,’ ‘When do I go to Iowa, do I go to New Hampshire?’, ‘Do I debate?,’ and that’s gonna be his decision.

“What I think is the American people want to see 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 added. “What are you gonna do to help our kids in school who are dealing with fentanyl and TikTok? What are you gonna do to help get us energy independent?”

“People are really hurting right now in this country so I look at the debate not just between Republican against Republican, I look at it as our party making a case as to why we should win the White House and defeat Joe Biden, and that’s one of the factors as to why I would say everybody should get on that debate stage,” she said.

Last week, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to suggest that he will be a no-show for the party’s traditional debates.

“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. 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? 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!” Trump wrote.

(Image: Screengrab/Truth Social)

“He’s gonna make that determination,” McDaniel said of Trump’s participation. “His campaign will make that determination, I will just say this, people are struggling and they want to see our plan as a party as to how we’re gonna win. So I do think it’s important for him to get on the debate stage but also remember, hey who are we against? It’s Joe Biden.”

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