On Monday, Pres. Trump told reporters that he would not debate former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination.
Trump: “They’re all at less than 1 percent. I guess it’s a publicity stunt.”
“I’m not looking to give them any credibility. They have no credibility. One was a person that voted for Obama, ran as a vice president four years ago and was soundly defeated. Another one got thrown out after one term in Congress and he lost in a landslide, and the third one, ‘Mr. Tallahassee Trail’ or ‘Mr. Appalachian Trail,’ he’s the Appalachian Trail, right? The Tallahassee Trail is nice, too, but I think he was the Appalachian Trail, but he wasn’t on the Appalachian Trail, he was in Argentina.”
Call this an aberration as incumbent presidents usually do not face primary challenges from members of their party, on both sides of the political aisle. Exceptions to that unwritten rule include when former California Gov. Ronald Reagan sought to replace President Gerald Ford on the Republican ticket in 1976. Former Sen. Edward Kennedy took on President Jimmy Carter four years later, hard-right pundit Patrick Buchanan challenged President George H.W. Bush.
The big news here is that none of the incumbents agreed to a primary debate, so Pres. Trump is not setting a precedent.
Last week, Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina — four Republican states announced they planned to cancel 2020 primaries, which effectively shut down their GOP challenges to Trump.
Democrats in Congress have no standing here because of them won’t debate their challengers, especially the California representatives. As for Republicans, what do you think about this decision by Pres. Trump?
Sanford is out of work and probably looking for national speaking gigs when he isn’t nominated. Weld is an irrelevant billionaire, while Walsh is being self-serving and will look to parlay his national appearances on CNN and MSNBC as a future host or contributor and so-called expert to right-wing behavior.
Either way, Pres. Trump is more than likely correct in his assessment of these three. Do you agree with his choice of walking away from potential debates?
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