(Headline USA) Donald Trump’s campaign is calling on the Republican National Committee to cancel the November debate in Miami and all remaining presidential primary debates, saying the RNC must instead “refocus its manpower” on defeating Joe Biden next year.
In a statement late Monday, top Trump advisers warned that Democrats were working yet again to steal the 2024 election for at least the third election cycle in a row.
“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,” said senior campaign advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita.
It remains unclear if such efforts were in place prior to the 2020 election, when many blue states used the pandemic as a pretense to shift to widespread mail-in voting while lowering their signature and other verification standards.
While evidence has revealed several instances of fraudulent activity, it has proven difficult to litigate them due to legal technicalities such as laches (the timing of when the case may be presented) and standing (who is allowed to bring a case).
Compounding the issue has been the fact that leftist prosecutors and officials have waged an active lawfare counteroffensive to punish any who dare challenge the outcomes. As a result, Republicans face considerable hurdles going into the election year and will need all hand on deck to rally behind the eventual nominee.
Trump remains the frontrunner by a longshot, although wealthy billionaire donors have floated a last-ditch effort to entice Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to enter the race in hopes that he might pose a challenge where others—most notably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—have fallen short.
Trump has skipped the first two debates—as several of his rivals attacked him for not attending—and said he wouldn’t participate in the future.
Let’s get a couple of things straight.
To date, Donald Duck has spent in excess of $50 million in donations from working-class Americans to cover his legal bills and allowed the RNC to spend more than $2 million of donor money to do the same. He’s so cheap and selfish he’d… pic.twitter.com/URV4yUinrg
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) October 3, 2023
He is in court this week in New York for a civil fraud trial accusing him of inflating the value of his businesses, a case that he has argued is politically motivated.
The RNC did not respond to requests for comment Monday or Tuesday.
A spokesman for DeSantis rejected the Trump campaign statement about canceling debates, saying the country “needs a president who will fight for them anywhere, in any forum.” DeSantis in the second debate accused Trump of not wanting to defend his record on the national debt.
“Donald Trump should defend his record to the American people and debate Ron DeSantis on their vision and specific plans to stop American decline and restore our country,” said Bryan Griffin, the spokesman. “But Trump knows he can’t defend his record, and he isn’t the fighter he was in 2016.”
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel declined to answer a question last week about Trump’s call to end the debates during a call with reporters on the launch of the committee’s “Bank Your Vote” initiative in New York.
The program, which the GOP is implementing in states across the U.S., encourages Republicans to participate in early and mail-in voting—a practice that Democrats have embraced but some Republicans, including Trump, have criticized.
McDaniel also brushed off Trump’s continued skepticism of early voting, even after he recorded a video to promote the “Bank Your Vote” initiative.
“I think we have to take those fights on, but also understand that once it gets to game day, the rules that are on the field are what we need to play by and President Trump is all in on that,” she said.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press