The event that would tentatively be last Republican debate of the primary cycle is scheduled for Monday, March 21, in Utah. Donald Trump said earlier this week that he thought the GOP candidates have done enough debates and that he was unaware that another event was scheduled. As of this morning, Trump is now saying he plans to skip the debate, which was set to be hosted by Fox News.
Report from Politico:
Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he will not participate in Monday’s Fox News debate, and will instead speak at a conference of the pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC.
The Republican frontrunner was asked on “Fox & Friends” whether he planned to attend the debate in Utah, and said he couldn’t because he made other plans.
“Nobody told me about debates. As you saw I thought the last debate on CNN was the last debate,” Trump said on Wednesday morning.
“I’m doing a major speech in front of a very important group of people that night,” Trump said, adding that it had been “scheduled a while ago.”
“I think it’s enough,” he added, about the dozen debates the Republican candidates have participated in so far.
Here’s the interview from this morning on Fox & Friends:
As noted, Trump is speaking on March 21st at the The American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, DC. Hillary Clinton is also set to address the conference as well, though on a different day.
The next question is whether Fox News will end up having the debate with only the presence of John Kasich and Ted Cruz. The question beyond that, then, is whether Ted Cruz will also pull out so he avoids giving John Kasich a larger platform.
This will be an ongoing story, stay tuned for developments in coming days, maybe even hours.
John Kasich pulled out of the event also leading Fox News to cancel it entirely, report from KDVR:
The Republican presidential primary debate scheduled for Monday has been canceled, a representative for the Salt Palace Convention Center confirmed to KSTU.
The debate was canceled following Donald Trump’s announcement that he wouldn’t be attending and a subsequent announcement from the campaign strategist for Gov. John Kasich that he wouldn’t attend without Trump.
So, that’s it for GOP debates.