Monday night’s Republican debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been cancelled, according to the local Fox affiliate.
Donald Trump said this morning that ‘we’ve had enough debates’ and planned to skip the next one, which was to be sponsored by Fox News and moderated by his foe Megyn Kelly.
The Republican frontrunner, who won every contest last night except for Ohio, Gov. John Kasich’s home state, instead booked a speech at AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Kasich, riding high after his home state win last night, said he wouldn’t participate without the party’s frontrunner.
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Donald Trump said today that he would NOT be going to Monday’s debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, as he’s scheduled to speak at AIPAC instead. Several hours later a producer from the local Fox affiliate tweeted that the debate had been cancelled
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly will return to the moderator chair for a fourth time this GOP primary season - and the second scheduled meeting that Donald Trump will skip
Fox News Channel’s executive vice president of news Michael Clemente soon issued a statement.
‘On Feb. 20, the Republican National Committee announced that a GOP presidential primary debate would be held on March 21 in Salt Lake City,’ Clemente said.
‘They offered that debate to Fox News Channel to host, provided there were enough candidates actively campaigning,’ he said.
DONALD TRUMP’S BARBS HE’S THROWN AT MEGYN KELLY
‘She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.’
‘Megyn Kelly must have had a terrible vacation, she is really off her game. Was afraid to confront Dr. Cornel West. No clue on immigration
‘Why does Megyn Kelly devote so much time on her shows to me, almost always negative? Without me her ratings would tank. Get a life Megyn!’
‘I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead i will only call her a lightweight reporter!’
‘Can’t watch Crazy Megyn anymore. Talks about me at 43% but never mentions that there are four people in race. With two people, big & over!’
‘Watching other networks and local news. Crazy Megyn Kelly is unwatchable.’
‘This morning, Donald Trump announced he would not be participating in the debate. Shortly afterward, John Kasich’s campaign announced that without Trump at the debate, Kasich would not participate,’ Clemente continued.
‘Ted Cruz has expressed a willingness to debate Trump or Kasich – or both. But obviously, there needs to be more than one participant. So the Salt Lake City debate is cancelled,’ Clemente’s statement concluded.
A network spokeswoman also pointed out that Trump had been on board with more debates directly after last Thursday’s GOP debate in Miami.
”I think they want to do two more debates, and I guess I’m pretty much okay with it,’ Trump had said to CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
By Friday morning, at a Florida press conference in which he was endorsed by former rival Ben Carson, Trump had changed his tune.
‘It would be nice to finish off with this one,’ he said of the debate held last Thursday. ‘It was just a really nice way to finish off the debate season.’
But on Monday, Fox News Channel made it official announcing yet another GOP primary debate was scheduled for next week and would be moderated by by Trump’s sometimes-nemesis Kelly.
This morning, even, Trump said on Morning Joe he wouldn’t be burying the hatchet.
‘Not Megyn Kelly, I’m not interested in that,’ Trump said.
Like the most recent Fox News debate, which took place in Detroit, Michigan, Kelly will be joined behind the desk by colleagues Chris Wallace and Bret Baier.
The Salt Lake City debate was to be the 13th Republican primary affair, with the debates starting back in August and happening monthly until January hit.
Since then, there have been six – with three debates scheduled back-to-back in February – and one that has already happened in March.
Fox News has sponsored and moderated three of these confabs, with Kelly front-and-center each time.
The first Fox debate was memorable because it became quickly apparent that Trump had a beef with the female journalist, as she asked him early on about some of his sexist tweets.
Trump famously uttered after the fact that Kelly had gone after him because she had ‘blood coming out of her wherever.’
A Kelly-vs.-Trump rematch was scheduled in January just days before the Iowa Caucuses, but Trump – after Fox put out an antagonistic press release that mocked Trump for surveying his Twitter followers – decided to skip the affair.
In an unconventional move in politics, Trump scheduled a veterans fundraiser across town from the debate slotted for the same time.
When Trump finally did face Kelly again any beef between the two was overshadowed when the billionaire made reference to the size of his package on national TV.
With yesterday’s results changing the dynamic of the Republican race again, Trump, with the most delegates and still the highest percentage of support nationally, would like to quit while he’s ahead.
‘I think it’s time to end the debates.’ Trump said Friday addressing the matter concretely.