Former President Trump’s 2024 reelection campaign on Tuesday called on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to cancel the third Republican Presidential primary debate set for next month in Miami.
“The Republican National Committee should immediately cancel the upcoming debate in Miami and end all future debates,” Trump campaign senior advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita said in a statement. They further suggested—without offering any evidence that Democrats were acting improperly—that the RNC should “refocus its manpower and money on preventing Democrats’ efforts to steal the 2024 election.”
The campaign had confirmed last week that Trump, who holds a commanding lead against other GOP challengers in the polls, would not be attending the RNC’s third debate November 8 in Miami. The former President also skipped the first two of his party’s debates.
But the repeated call to end all further debates also appears to be part of a pattern by Trump to try to stop, or at least obstruct, the democratic process in the middle of elections.
On election night 2020, Trump called for an end to the counting of the votes amid a so-called “red mirage”—where the GOP (“red”) candidate appears to have an an early lead only to fall behind the Democratic (“blue”) candidate later on as more vote counting continued, including absentee and mail-in ballots.
On the night of November 3, 2020, while Trump was leading but votes were still being counted, he said, “This is a fraud on the American people. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election—frankly, we did win this election.”
Trump’s efforts to overturn President Biden’s 2020 election victory have led to his indictments on a total of 17 criminal counts—four on the federal level and 13 in Georgia related to that state’s 2020 election.
Federal charges brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
Charges in Georgia include racketeering, solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, conspiracy to commit filing false documents, and conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree.
Further, the Trump team’s suggestion of Democrats’ attempting “to steal” the 2024 election echoes his assertions in both 2020 and 2016 campaign seasons, when Trump had said—before voting had commenced—that if he didn’t win, it meant the election was “rigged.”
Meanwhile, Trump may believe there is no need to hold further GOP debates, but in a YouGov poll from last week, a plurality of Republican voters continued to say not only that there should be debates, but also 39% said that Trump should participate in them, versus 31% who said he shouldn’t bother.