Several Republican presidential candidates are urging former President Donald Trump to attend the first GOP primary debate, which will take place in Milwaukee. Just days after Trump was indicted on charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, his rivals expressed their hopes for a lively discussion with the former president. Despite these pleas, sources familiar with the matter have reported that Trump is planning on skipping the debate and considering an interview with Tucker Carlson instead.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, one of Trump’s primary rivals, expressed his desire to debate the former president on his differences regarding the future of the country. In response to questions about the impact of Trump’s false claims on the Republican Party, Pence emphasized that Republican primary voters are looking forward, focusing on pressing issues such as inflation, mortgage rates, gas prices, and border security.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida echoed Pence’s sentiments, stating that all qualified candidates should attend the debate and highlighting the importance of focusing on the future of the country rather than being consumed by current controversies surrounding Trump. Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, who has previously clashed with Trump, emphasized the need to look ahead to win the presidency in 2024, rather than dwelling on past elections.
The Gathering, a conservative conference co-sponsored by Hardworking Americans, saw speeches from prominent Republican figures such as Governor Kemp, emphasizing their commitment to moving forward and concentrating on the future. Other speakers at the conference included former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
As the GOP primary race heats up, the absence of Donald Trump at the first debate could have significant implications. It remains to be seen whether Trump’s choice to forgo the debate will affect his standing among voters or if his rivals will seize the opportunity to distinguish themselves on the debate stage.