Former President Donald Trump has demanded that the Republican National Committee (RNC) cease hosting debates for his Republican presidential rivals or undergo a complete overhaul.
Trump has chosen not to attend any of the three debates sponsored by the RNC since August and has confirmed that he will not be participating in the upcoming fourth debate.
As the primary elections approach and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gains momentum in the polls, Trump and his campaign have become increasingly vocal about putting an end to the debates altogether.
In a social media post on Monday afternoon, Trump emphasized that the RNC should save money by eliminating the debates, which he claims have the lowest-ever ratings.
He suggests using those resources to combat the Democrats and prevent what he calls “the steal.” If the RNC does not comply with his demands, Trump insists that the organization should undergo a revamp.
However, it is unclear why Trump believes that hosting the debates imposes expenses on the RNC when it is the media partners who bear the financial burden. Furthermore, Trump’s team has not responded to requests for clarification from HuffPost.
The RNC members have criticized Trump’s understanding of how the debates function. Longtime Massachusetts member Ron Kaufman clarified that the debates cost the RNC nothing and, in fact, serve as fundraising opportunities.
He explains that attendees enjoy the chance to donate during these events. Similarly, Illinois member Richard Porter questions Trump’s belief that the debates drain resources, hinting that Trump may have other concerns about the debates.
Trump also referenced a recent national poll in his Truth Social post, where he boasts of a substantial lead over his rivals.
However, although Trump maintains an average close to 60% in national polls, he falls short of the majority threshold in the states that hold the initial primaries.
Political consultants from both parties agree that Trump’s defeats in those states would undermine his perceived inevitability and create an opportunity for a challenger, especially with his upcoming trial for his involvement in the January 6, 2021, attempted insurrection scheduled to commence in early March.
Richard Porter highlights that as the incumbent, a loss in either Iowa or New Hampshire would weaken Trump’s status and allow room for a competitor to emerge.
Meanwhile, Trump faces a series of serious legal challenges, including 91 felony charges across four separate indictments. Two cases are related to his role in the coup attempt, one federal case in Washington, D.C., and a state case in Georgia.
Additionally, Trump is facing federal prosecution in South Florida for failing to return classified documents taken from the White House and a New York state case accusing him of falsifying business records to conceal a payment made to a porn star before the 2016 election.
Despite these legal battles, Trump maintains significant support within the GOP and remains the frontrunner for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.