As the 2020 election cycle draws nearer, the Republican Primary race is heating up. Recently, President Donald Trump announced that he would be skipping the next GOP primary debate, citing a lack of preparedness. However, he may not be the only candidate to skip the event.
According to reports from the RNC, several other Republican presidential hopefuls have indicated that they will not be taking part in the debate. This includes former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and former Ohio Governor John Kasich.
The candidates cited similar reasons for their decision to skip the debate, pointing to inadequate preparation time as well as their own public stances on certain issues. For instance, Governor Weld has been very public about his disagreements with the president’s policies, while Senator Graham and Governor Kasich have expressed dissatisfaction with Trump’s trade negotiations.
While these absences are notable, it is not expected to have a significant impact on the debate. This is because the remaining candidates – including Vice President Mike Pence, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – are all experienced politicians and widely respected figures in the Republican Party.
Despite this show of unity within the party, the absences of these distinguished candidates have caused some to express concerns that the public will not get an accurate reflection of the true Republican field. This could be especially true when it comes to issues like immigration and healthcare, which have been a major point of contention between the president and his opponents.
Many Republicans have also voiced their displeasure with the debate’s current format. Some have argued that the limited serving time allotted to each candidate has made it difficult to properly explain their respective positions, while others have pointed out that the lack of a live audience (due to concerns over the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic) has made the proceedings feel dull and stagnant.
Only time will tell what effect the absences of Trump and other candidates will have on the GOP primaries. In the meantime, people from across the political spectrum will be keeping a close eye on the events in the coming months.