Trump Skips CNN Debate in Favor of Fox Town Hall

( – Former President Donald Trump is skipping the next GOP debate in favor of hosting a town hall-style discussion on Fox News. The event will be hosted in Des Moines, Iowa on January 10th, just five days before the primary election on January 15th. Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier will host and moderate the discussion.

The GOP debate will only feature Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, according to CNN, who is hosting the event. To qualify, candidates had to score at least 10% in three separate polls that meet CNN’s standards for national or Republican caucus member polls. Only Trump, Haley, and DeSantis met the criteria.

DeSantis and Haley agreed to appear, so the debate will be solely between the two of them. They’re battling to become the alternative to Donald Trump who still holds a commanding lead over his competition. CNN is also slated to host a second GOP debate in New Hampshire on January 21st, in advance of that state’s primary.

Both Haley and DeSantis made public comments urging Trump to join the discussion. Haley accused Trump of hiding and said it was time for him to appear on the debate stage. DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo suggested Trump was avoiding criticism for his failure to build an effective wall at the southern border, giving into Fauci’s pandemic policy demands, and adding $8 trillion to the national debt.

Romeo also jabbed at Trump suggesting the candidates could be seated if that would make him “more comfortable.”

Trump has opted out of the GOP debates signaling he is the clear GOP nominee based on his popular support. For the last few debates, he has held his own event or released content at the same time.

Trump’s campaign advisors told reporters in December that Trump will also skip the New Hampshire GOP debate. Speaking with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Trump said he’d entertain debates if his competition was “very close,” in the polls.

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