After skipping four Republican primary debates, former President Donald Trump has said that he will not be attending the fifth debate in Des Moines, Iowa, scheduled for Jan. 10 at 9 a..m.
— Daily Wire News (@DailyWireNews) January 2, 2024
Instead, he will be at a Fox News town hall scheduled for the same date and time in the same city.
For the fifth debate, Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are the only ones that are qualified, according to CNN. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have not met the requirements as they do not have much traction in Iowa and poll below 5% nationally.
Haley has already criticized Trump’s debate to not attend the debate. “With only three candidates qualifying for the CNN debate, it’s time for Donald Trump to show up. As the debate stage continues to shrink, it’s getting harder for Donald Trump to hide,” she wrote.
Last week, DeSantis also slammed him for his failure to participate in past debates.
Speaking to reporters, she said, “He’s not been willing to come here and answer questions. He parachutes in for 30, 45-minute, hour speech and then just leaves, rather than listening to Iowans answering questions and doing, I think, what it takes to win.”
Trump’s decision to skip the fifth debate was expected given he did the same thing during the other debates. Before the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee in August, the GOP candidate voiced a lack of interest in the debates.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History & much more,” he said at the time.
He eventually ditched the event for an interview with former Fox News host Tucker carlson.
Other GOP presidential candidates have criticized his no-shows. However, voters do not seem to mind, as his polling lead has not changed.