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Trump Plans to Skip March 21st Fox News Debate – Update: Debate Canceled

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.

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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.

Update

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.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (31)

  • I really would like to see a Kasich-Cruz debate, but it was aptly predicted that Ted would pull out. Shame, since such a debate might actually be civil with no one to start piss fights with.

    • Why would Cruz pull out? There's no way Kasich can out debate Cruz. The only thing that would come of it is people would see how conservative Cruz is and now neo-con liberal Kasich is.

    • It would be civil because it would be a 2 hour infomercial for the Cruz campaign since Kasich has no mathematical way to win the nomination.

      It would be the same as having Cruz debate a random member of the audience since that person would have the same path to the nomination that John Kasich has.

      I think Cruz would be nuts to give Kasich that platform and allow him to take more delegates that Cruz desperately needs.

      My gut says we've seen the last of the primary debates, on both sides.

  • Coward. He does not want to face the big scary female news casters..

    I don't know what he things being the Candidate is going to be like..
    I'm sure he will want to skip those debates to.

    • Trump was afraid to face Cruz. According to Trump he and Kelly have buried the hatchet and are on good terms now. Since Trump stole all his talking points from Cruz's playbook months ago, he'd have to out debate Cruz on his own ideas and Trump knows he can win that. So he hides away.

      • Ha! The Trump-Kelly cease fire was shorter than a Middle East peace. Kelly pandered to Cruz, and tweeted attacks on Trump. And Trump replied in kind. But Trump isn't "afraid" of her. He's just sick of the same scene being repeated over and over, with no new ideas.

    • Learn how to spell newscasters, genius. Also, it is "thinks" not "things," and "too" not "to." Finally, "candidate" is a common noun. As such, it is not capitalized. Kids, stay in school.

      • But you were dumb enough to answer, who is ready dumb because the way I see it Donald the clown controls your brain, just the way you corrected this person you should correct the clown that only knows tremendous tremendous, lol

      • Generally speaking, we don't pick at spelling or grammar. It's the ideas we're concerned with.

        However, of course, substandard language does cast a shadow over one's message.

        Anyway, it wasn't the spelling of "newscaster" that was the problem. It was equating Megyn Kelly with a newscaster.

        • I am sick of these pukes calling themselves 'educated' when they can't even construct a simple sentence to save their lives. I agree, the real crime is calling Megyn Kelly a newscaster.

      • Now, Cruz, too. I'm surprised Cruz wouldn't want to be there, by himself. Guess he knows NO ONE would watch that!

  • That just goes to show what a coward Trump really is. This is the second time he will have skipped the FNC debate. I challenge Trumpers to rebut my points in "Are Trump Conservatives Irrational?" https://t.co/OMuCLTmSst

    • So that means Kasich is a "coward," too, since he also pulled out.

      Trump is not a coward. He's strategic. Things he does bring results.

      I can't imagine why Kasich pulled out of the debate. He had his chance to be seen as just as important as Cruz.

      • I do give Trump credit for being able to persuade others that he is a man of substance, similar to the way Obama did.

      • I agree it made no sense for Kasich to skip, but since they both decided to skip, there was no point for Cruz to attend. This is the third time Trump will have skipped an important event. He obviously could not debate Cruz.

  • Seriously why is this a thing. Just because Donald doesn't want to do something its okay to miss our last debate because Trump thinks its unnecessary. Ohhh he is so wrong the race is even tighter now we could actually see a debate thats real. It would even be better that he isnt there cause we wont have any insults or nonsense. It shows that he has pulled out of two debates so what if he pulls out of America what will we do?

  • STOP WITH THE DEBATES......ENOUGH!!!! FOX HAS DRIED OUT THE COW, STOP WHILE YOU'RE AHEAD! Get your ratings by speaking the truth, I'll guarantee you top ratings!

  • And the moral is ... No Trump _ No Party !
    So much for demonizing him.
    And, by the way, I find Megyn Kelly a particularly disgusting, reprehensible, venomous ... creature.
    She does have blood in her eyes ... well ... wherever !

  • Interesting previous comments.
    Trump by participating in a 13th debate, especially a potential ambush by the disgustingly vile shill of the RNC, Megyn Kelly would serve no potential advantage for Donald Trump as the design by Fox would be to elicit a potential advantage for Kasich.
    The reason Kasich remains in the race is to hopefully for him to be appointed by the RNC in shady backroom deals in a brokered convention where he could team with Rubio as his running mate.
    Kasich was a Managing Director of Lehman Brothers where the bankruptcy in September 2008 is what triggered the global economic meltdown as documented in the PBS FRONTLINE documentary "Inside the Meltdown"
    That meltdown caused the huge job losses throughout the entire country, as well as Ohio, & Kasich blamed then Governor Strickland for it and narrowly managed to take his job from him. Kasich is an opportunist in bed with the RNC and the controlling international banking cartel.
    The Trump supporters & they are legion will walk away from the Republicans in a virtual quiet riot. No Trump due to backroom dealmakers which undermine the vote of the people will equal No Republican Party !
    Hello 8 years of Hillary and the appointment of a minimum 3 Supreme Court Liberal Justices and the fulfillment of the Saul Alinsky prophecy by his disciple Hillary.
    It is just that simple.

      • In essence Trump participating in yet 1 more the 13th debate serves Trump no purpose.
        According to Rule 40b enacted by the RNC in 2011 known as the Ron Paul Rule - A Candidate must win 8 State or Territories in order to receive any Votes whether it is in the 1st ballot, the 2nd or the 50th.

  • We know why Trumpka pulled out, he simply would look the petulant child he is next to lawyerly Cruz. It would be no contest. Ted would expose him as a complete fraud. The mystery is why Kasich, who always complained of minimal air times would also fold.

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