Trump opts out of primary debates days before first event

by ian

With the first GOP debate just two days away, we’re now learning a major name will be missing from the lineup.

Former President Donald Trump announced on Truth Social Sunday that he will not participate in the Milwaukee debate and likely others, pointing to his massive lead in the polls and his well-known policy record. A recent CBS News poll shows Trump with a 46% lead over runner-up Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In lieu of this week’s debate, Trump is opting instead for a taped interview with former Fox News Host Tucker Carlson.

Without Trump on stage, team DeSantis is considering focusing its aim on businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who’s seen a recent bump in the polls and is viewed by some analysts as a kind of Trump surrogate.  In a leaked memo, DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down urged the governor to “take a sledgehammer” to Ramaswamy.

The debate will air on Fox News this Wednesday at 9 p.m. eastern.