Donald Trump won’t be participating in Fox News’ March 21 presidential debate, the GOP frontrunner told the TV station during a phone interview Wednesday morning.
“I think we’ve had enough debates,” Trump said during an interview on FOX & Friends. “How many times can the same people ask you the same question?”
Trump also said he received late notice of the debate from Fox, and only found out about it yesterday. On the same day of the debate, Trump said he’s already scheduled to give a speech to a large crowd at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Trump said he won’t be canceling that speech to attend the debate.
“Nobody told me about it, and I won’t be there, no,” Trump said.
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It wouldn’t be the first Fox News debate skipped by Trump. The billionaire previously declined to participate in a Jan. 28 Fox News/Google debate in Des Moines — a decision Trump made after his well-publicized feud with Fox debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
After skipping that debate, Trump lost the Iowa caucus to Sen. Ted Cruz.
But this time around, Trump is in a far stronger position to call the shots. Trump’s strong showing in Tuesday’s voting — winning Florida, Illinois and North Carolina — solidified his status as the GOP frontrunner, even as he still faces strong resistance from some Republicans.
At the same time that Trump was doing TV interviews Wednesday morning, Cruz supporters were urging Republicans to get behind their candidate instead.
In comments to CNN, Neil Bush (Jeb Bush’s brother) said that Trump’s biggest successes have come in “open” primaries that allow independents or Democrats to vote in the GOP race. Bush said there are closed primaries ahead that provide an opening for Cruz.
“I’m not going to support Trump, period,” Bush said.
Another Cruz supporter, former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, said the current vacancy on the Supreme Court highlights why Cruz is a better candidate. Fiorina said Republicans have “no clue” as to what kind of person Trump would nominate to the Supreme Court if he became president.
“It’s not just the White House that hangs in the balance,” she said. “The Supreme Court hangs in the balance.”
On Fox News, Trump said that some of the same conservatives who criticize him publicly are quietly calling him, “trying to get on the team.” And when it comes to picking Supreme Court justices, Trump said he is committed to nominating a true conservative.
“As close to [Antonin] Scalia as I could find,” Trump said. “I would really use that as the model.”