Polls show Donald Trump running away with the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
But nothing about this election is normal.
And Donald Trump dropped a big hint about dropping out of this major 2024 event.
The first Republican presidential debate is scheduled for August 23 in Milwaukee, site of the 2024 Republican National Convention.
Fox News is set to televise the event.
And all eyes are on Donald Trump to see if he will show.
Trump’s put the word out that he is not planning to attend on the basis that he is the frontrunner and he should not legitimize candidates he leads by 30, 40, and 50 points in the polls by appearing next to them on a debate stage and because Trump views Fox News’s coverage as biased against him.
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace traveled to Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club for a dinner where they made their final pitch to persuade Trump to appear on the debate stage.
Scott and Wallace argued Trump’s performance in the debates cinched him the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
In an interview with Newsmax’s Eric Bolling, Trump gave his strongest hint yet that he would not debate.
WATCH: Donald Trump says he’s “already decided” on first GOP primary debate, will soon make an announcement
“What’s the upside? Am I gonna go up 1 point? But they could go up… you know, they’re not dumb people […] They’re intelligent people.” pic.twitter.com/XC15auGqFs
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) August 10, 2023
Trump also said he would not sign the Republican National Committee’s loyalty pledge to support the nominee no matter what arguing there are RINOs in the race like Chris Christie, Asa Hutchinson, and Will Hurd whom Trump could not support under any circumstances.
“I wouldn’t sign the pledge,” Trump stated. “They want you to sign a pledge, but I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there there’s a problem.”
Signing this pledge is a prerequisite for appearing in the debate and Trump’s refusal to sign is the clearest sign yet he has no plans to debate.
But the truth of the matter is Fox News needs Trump more than Trump needs Fox News.
Real Clear Politics shows Trump leading Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by 39 points in the national primary polls.
Trump also holds commanding leads of more than 20 points in the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Fox News, on the other hand, is hemorrhaging viewers following the boneheaded decision to fire Tucker Carlson.
Since canceling Carlson, Fox News lost 30 percent of its overall audience in primetime and more importantly shed 45 percent of its viewership in the age 25-54 demographic that networks use to set advertising rates.
If Trump doesn’t show up for the debate, viewership will tank and any chance for a Trump rival to gain traction will shrink.
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