The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Pres. Donald Trump may blow off the 2020 presidential debates. And apparently it doesn’t even matter who the nominee is.
Two people who are familiar with the discussions are reporting that Trump is in talks with his advisors about the possibility of not attending the debates. President Butthurt is allegedly wanting to sit out because he distrusts the Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit entity that sponsors the debates, according to Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni.
At a state-of-the-race campaign briefing in Arlington, Virginia, Trump’s advisors declined to comment on debate plans and the Times says that one of Trump’s senior advisors visibly winced at the question.
Oh please. Trump wants to skip the presidential debates because he's a coward and is terrified a debate will expose what a dithering idiot he is. https://t.co/ebYvsiLK1w
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) December 13, 2019
In fact, Trump’s not even concerned about who the Democratic nominee is. He’s more concerned with who the debate moderators will be, according to people who are in contact with Trump.
Besides the fact that Trump will be humiliated if he’s facing off against the likes of, say, Elizabeth Warren, is the fact that his polling took a hit after debates with Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential debates. They were mostly tied in the polls pre-debate, but afterward, Trump was always polling less. For instance, a Gallup poll conducted after the third debate showed that 60% of viewers named Hillary the debate winner, with only 31% giving the win to Trump.
At one debate, Trump claimed to have a “defective mic,” and accused people of putting him at a disadvantage deliberately. As it turns out, there was a technical malfunction. However, Trump never accepted that it was simply a malfunction and not deliberate sabotage.
It’s no secret that Trump distrusts the media. Anyone but Fox News is “fake news” and the “enemy of the people,” according to Trump. He’d even like to make it easier to file libel suits against journalists.
During the 2016 election, Trump fought with debate moderators on air, even demanding at one point that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper stop taking audience questions. Trump wanted to talk more about Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Former Clinton aides expect Trump to participate in at least one debate during the 2020 election, even though Trump himself may be resistant.
“Not doing any would not be strategically smart,” said Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton adviser, who predicted that “he’ll bluff that he won’t do any with the goal of only having to do one.”
Trump can cough up other reasons all he wants, but this Twitter user nails it, in my opinion.
Trump is considering sitting out the election debates for 2020. He blaming other reasons, but we all know he has lost the mental acuity and it would be a disaster for him. https://t.co/ybSYcpafFL
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) December 13, 2019