The “King of the Tweets,” let it be known a few days ago he is unhappy with the presidential debate schedule:
Of course Trump’s claim is bogus. The debate schedule was determined almost a year ago by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, a private group made up of both Republicans and Democrats. The Commission announced the number, dates and sites for the 2016 general election debates in September 2015.
So why complain now?
Some political observers are speculating this latest tantrum may be the first step in Trump eventually backing out of debating Clinton.
Could Trump actually skip the debates? Isn’t he required to show?
The answers are “yes” and “no.”
Yes, just as with releasing tax returns, a candidate’s decision to participate in the presidential debates is completely voluntary. And, no, there is no law that requires a candidate to debate.
Of course a presidential candidate who refuses to debate would be committing political suicide. The attack ads would be out the following day branding the “no-show” candidate a coward.
But Trump is not your typical presidential candidate. And this has become an election year where all rules are thrown out the window, Trump may think his loyal followers ( and those leaning in his direction) will treat his not showing up for the debates the same way they’ve reacted to his not releasing his tax returns – who cares!
The talk on the street is that Trump will not release his tax returns because he is betting this will cause him less harm than if he were to put them out. In the same way, the political calculus might be that Trump would be better off skipping the debates than to get on a debate stage with the consummate politician and policy wonk, Hillary.
Then, of course, it is unlikely any presidential debate moderator would allow Trump to answer “we are going to look into that” or “we will make America great again, believe me.”
Photo | thehill.com