Reports are coming out on corporate media that Donald Trump is not going to attend the first Republican presidential debate. Instead, he’s going to do an interview with Tucker Carlson. According to the NY Times:
Former President Donald J. Trump plans to upstage the first Republican primary debate on Wednesday by sitting for an online interview with the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, according to multiple people briefed on the matter.
In the past 24 hours, Mr. Trump has told people close to him that he has made up his mind and will skip the debate in Milwaukee, according to two of the people briefed on the matter.
Mr. Trump is notoriously mercurial, and left himself something of an out to change his mind with an ambiguous post on his website, Truth Social, on Thursday. He wrote that he’s polling well ahead of his rivals and added, “Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate?”
For weeks, the former president has been quizzing aides, associates and rally crowds about what he should do. Until earlier this week, Mr. Trump had been giving people the impression he was considering a last-minute surprise appearance on Wednesday.
Still, people close to him had said for months that he was unlikely to take part in the first two Republican debates, both of which are sponsored by the Republican National Committee. And Mr. Trump’s apparent decision to skip the first debate of the presidential nominating contest is a major affront to both the R.N.C. and Fox News, which is hosting the event.
To call it a “…major affront to both the R.N.C. and Fox News” is funny. Fox News executives, board members, and some hosts have actively attacked Trump since before he announced his run for president. The R.N.C. is a UniParty Swamp front group. Neither of their collectivist opinions matter.
A GOP debate without the frontrunner was going to have reduced viewership anyway, but offering an alternative in the form of an interview by Tucker Carlson is brilliant. Many of his supporters will bypass the debate to watch two of their favorite people having discourse. A good chunk of those who do watch the debate will then tune into the interview afterwards. It seems to be a win-win for Trump.
Personally, I wanted him to debate for two reasons. I wanted to see the dynamic he had with the other candidates and I wanted to see who was hedging their attacks against him in hopes of getting into his administration if he wins again. Now, I’m not sure I’ll even watch the debate at all. I don’t think I’m alone.
Will you watch a Trump-less GOP debate? Sound off on my Substack.