Former President Donald Trump plans to skip the third Republican presidential debate, according to a senior adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity, extending his strategy of avoiding forums that include his lower-polling rivals.
Trump didn’t show up for the first debate, held last month in Milwaukee, opting instead to prerecord an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson which was streamed while other candidates took the stage.
Trump has also said he will not participate in the second debate, scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
The former president plans to instead visit Detroit to court members of the United Auto Workers union, which is carrying out a strike against the Big Three legacy automakers. Trump will deliver a prime-time speech to an audience of current and former union workers, according to people familiar with his plans.
Trump has questioned the benefit of debating because he holds a wide lead over the rest of the GOP field. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has him up by more than 46 percentage points over his nearest challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The third debate is scheduled to take place in early November in Miami, according to a person familiar with the planning. Both Trump and DeSantis call Florida home.
The Republican National Committee had initially discussed holding the third debate in Alabama. The Trump campaign didn’t play a role in the decision to instead have the event in Miami, the adviser said.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P. Visit bloomberg.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.