President Donald Trump has revealed that he won’t be attending the next debate for Republican 2024 primary candidates on CNN.
Instead, Trump will be holding a town hall on Fox News that will be broadcast at the same time as CNN’s GOP debate.
The Fox News town hall will be moderated by hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum and will take place in Des Moines, Iowa.
Both events will be held in Des Moines next Wednesday, January 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The two competing events will be broadcast just days before the Iowa caucuses, Politico reported.
Trump’s decision to forego the debate is in step with his past strategy, which his GOP opponents have criticized him for.
However, the 45th president’s polling lead has remained unshaken despite his absence from each of the debates.
Following some of the debates, Trump has even been declared the winner.
Before the first GOP debate of the primary season in August, Trump announced he would “not be doing the debates.”
He cited his large polling lead over the rest of the Republican field.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History & much more,” Trump said.
So far, only Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley have qualified for the CNN debate next Wednesday, according to the network.
DeSantis and Haley are now polling neck-and-neck in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
However, they are both light years behind Trump as the clock ticks closer to the first caucuses and primary.
Haley responded by slamming Trump for skipping the debate.
“With only three candidates qualifying for the CNN debate, it’s time for Donald Trump to show up,” she wrote.
“As the debate stage continues to shrink, it’s getting harder for Donald Trump to hide.”
Last week, DeSantis hit Trump for his refusal to attend previous debates.
“He’s not been willing to come here and answer questions,” DeSantis told reporters in Iowa.
“He parachutes in for 30, 45-minute, hour speech and then just leaves, rather than listening to Iowans answering questions and doing, I think, what it takes to win.”
The CNN debate stage will likely be the smallest yet in the 2024 primary cycle since tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have not met the requirements to appear on stage.
Both candidates poll below 5% nationally and struggle to gain any traction in Iowa.
The Washington Post reported that Ramaswamy said he also plans on holding a competing event with the CNN debate, calling it a “fake Iowa ‘debate.'”
CNN will also host a debate in New Hampshire on January 21, two days before the first-in-the-nation primary.
However, the Trump campaign has already said that the frontrunner intends to skip that debate as well.
Trump told radio host Hugh Hewitt last month that he would only debate a Republican opponent “if it’s very close.”
“I would debate that Republican, yeah,” Trump said.
“But it’s not close.”