Donald Trump says he has no interest in the Republican debate planned for March 21 in Salt Lake City.
If he backs out, some speculate that the debate won’t happen at all.
Trump wouldn’t commit to the March 21 event during a news conference on Friday. “I think it is time to end the debates,” Trump said. “I didn’t know about a debate in Salt Lake City.”
During a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida, Tump said Republican candidates have “had enough debates.”
However, some Utah Republicans believe the debate will continue regardless of whether Trump participates.
“If the candidates are not in favor of doing it, then there is no reason to do it,” Bruce Hough, Utah’s RNC committeeman told the Salt Lake Tribune, “but Donald is just one.”
If Trump does decide to bypass the Republican debate in Salt Lake City, it won’t be a first. Trump skipped an Iowa debate hosted by Fox News in January.
Tuesday’s contests will determine a lot. If candidates like Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio win their home states, it could change Trump’s thinking about more debates, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert predicted on March 8 that Trump wouldn’t show at a Utah debate, threatening the whole event.
“We hope there’s a presidential debate here in Utah, but that may depend on primary election results between now and then,” Herbert said. “I have no reason to believe that there won’t be one, but I do note that Donald Trump has said, ‘If I’ve got it wrapped up, I may not come to Salt Lake.’ Now, I would think that would be a mistake on his part.”