No one appears to be happy with the cancellation of the Utah GOP Debate, least of all Texas senator and former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz.
Cruz appears eager to get Trump in front of another television audience by running a web petition called “Ducking Donald.”
Cruz also went on Fox News Channel’s television program “The Kelly File” Wednesday night to say Trump was running away from a debate now that the field had narrowed and increased focus on the small candidate field.
Cruz said he was willing to debate Trump at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference — a bipartisan pro-Israel lobby — where both candidates are scheduled to speak.
“I suspect Donald will continue running and hiding and basking in the protection from the network media,” Cruz said.
Trump appears content to avoid the debate and claims he has nothing else to say or prove, claiming he was the winner of all of the televised debates.
Trump continued to speaking poorly of “The Kelly File’s” host Megyn Kelly on Twitter from Wednesday night to Thursday morning.
Both the Utah GOP and Democratic Parties have expressed disappointment for varying reasons in the cancellation.
UTGOP Chairman James Evans said in a statement the overwhelming response by Utah voters and the deal brokered by the Republican National Committee and Fox News Channel was both flattering and a possible sign of increasing political relevance.
“Utah can no longer be considered a flyover state as recent events have proven,” Evans said.
The UTGOP reports receiving over 50,000 ticket requests for the debate which was set for March 21 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
Utah Democratic party Chairman Peter Corroon said in a statement that he sees Donald Trump as the “presumptive” GOP nominee.
“Yes, the man who has called for banning an entire religion from entering the United States, who has disparaged Mexican immigrants, denigrated women and spoken ill of so many other groups of people is now the standard bearer for the GOP,” Corroon said.
Further, Corroon bemoaned the lost opportunity to hold the Republican candidates accountable in person.