In two weeks, several GOP presidential candidates will debate on stage about the issues and concerns facing the United States. Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, Mike Pence, and Doug Burgum have all qualified to appear on the stage, and it’s unlikely any others will between now and then.
Each and every one of these candidates is eager to take the stage to show Americans why they are the best person to do the job. Trump is the only one who has complained about not being there.
People who are wary of Trump want to see a debate that doesn’t feature him. The media, however, has made sure to focus attention on Trump, 2020, and Trump antics. Yes, Trump’s mannerisms and other behaviors would, at the very least, be distracting during the big event.
Trump’s problem isn’t if he will attend the debate. It’s not a matter of if he will attend, but rather if he should. Many inside rumors from the Trump campaign suggest that he does not need to participate in a debate, since he is already far ahead of his opponents, even DeSantis, the second-placed candidate. The issue of Trump’s attendance at the debate is actually much more complex than that.
Trump is currently facing a number of legal issues. Multiple prosecutors are looking to put the former president in jail, and Trump doesn’t do himself any favors by being unscripted. He can say whatever he likes. Never forget that Trump was prompted to talk about his hands in 2016.
POLITICO also mentioned this possibility today and said that Trump would probably not take well to being warned by his attorneys about it.
According to a person who is close to Trump’s campaign, none of Trump’s attorneys has warned him against attending the debate. The person added, “And if the attorneys did it, they would not like the outcome.”
Imagine if Trump was sparring with Ron DeSantis about the 2020 election, and started spouting more things that Jack Smith would then use as part of an indictment superseding the election conspiracy. What if Mike Pence – Trump’s former vice president – managed to convince Trump to discuss the documents in Mar-a-Lago? Donald Trump is going to face more punishments from the prosecutors as soon as he leaves that debate stage. They are trying to charge him with as many crimes as they can.
Even if Trump were not as far ahead in polls, his team could discourage him from attending debates due to the pending litigation. This would allow him to use the lawsuit as an excuse and avoid appearing as if he was running away. Trump can only say that the Department of Justice is still pursuing him for crimes he did not commit. He will focus on his legal defense, as well as his campaign to continue working for the American people.
I’m not sure if it makes sense strategically for Trump to be on stage. Legally, it’s something I wouldn’t want Trump to do if I was his lawyer. Trump does many things that are not recommended, but he manages to survive.