(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Prominent members of the Republican National Committee slammed the lackluster GOP primary debates, which have notably not been attended by former President Donald Trump.
According to Politico, some are even calling for their immediate end, saying that without their front-runner, the debates made no sense.
“You can’t put your head in the sand and pretend these debates are going to result in someone other than Donald Trump getting the nomination,” said Patti Lyman, the RNC’s national committeewoman from Virginia. She even called the debates “embarrassing,” adding that they reflect poorly on the GOP.
“I think the only way you salvage it is if you get the frontrunner there,” said Tyler Bowyer, a national committeeman from Arizona.
Fox News cuts away from the Donald Trump rally after he talks about how his interview with Tucker Carlson on ???? outperformed the GOP debate.
— ALX (@alx) September 25, 2023
Louisiana GOP Chair Louis Gurvich said the debates “have demeaned every candidate who participated in them.” Roger Villere, the Louisiana national committeeman, echoed Gurvich, saying he didn’t “really see what we’re gaining from having a debate without having the main participant.”
So far, the RNC has hosted two debates. The first, hosted by Fox News on Aug. 23, saw entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy rise as a potential Republican star. On the other hand, the second debate, hosted by Fox Business on Sept. 27, lacked any viral moments. The third debate has been announced for Nov. 8; however, Trump declared he will not attend any future debates.
Trump’s announcement came after his campaign called for an immediate halt to the debates. In a joint statement, Trump advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita demanded the RNC, “immediately cancel the upcoming debate in Miami and end all future debates in order to refocus its manpower and money on preventing Democrats’ efforts to steal the 2024.”
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) October 3, 2023
They added, “Anything less, along with other reasons not to cancel, are an admission to the grassroots that their concerns about voter integrity are not taken seriously and national Republicans are more concerned about helping Joe Biden than ensuring a safe and secure election.”
An RNC spokesperson dismissed the calls, saying the debate will continue as planned. “[A]s long as there are candidates who qualify for the stage and want to debate, the RNC will continue to sanction debates,” the spokesperson claimed, as reported by Politico.