Breaking down President Trump’s decision to skip second GOP debate

Sep 20, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: 9:12 pm

Image of former President Donald Trump walking to speak with reporters before departure from Hartsf...

FILE - Former President Donald Trump walks to speak with reporters before departure from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Atlanta. (Alex Brandon, Associated Press)

(Alex Brandon, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — While former President Donald Trump has emerged as the favorite to win next year’s GOP presidential nomination, he has announced that he will skip next week’s Republican debate in California.

Instead, the former president will speak to a group of workers in Michigan. 

Meg Kinnard, national politics reporter for the Associated Press, wrote a story on the former president’s plans to visit Michigan. She shares some insights into the former president’s decision with KSL NewsRadio. 


Skipping out on the GOP debate

“The former president has long talked about not really taking part in these debates,” she said. “And he’s had his own kind of counterprogramming planned for each so far.”

Kinnard says the former president plans to speak to more than just auto workers in his appearance in Michigan. She says pipe fitters, electrical workers, and others in those fields will have President Trump’s attention.

“This is a way for the former president to kind of get in on one of the top issues of the day,” she said. “And also perhaps command a little attention for himself since he’s not going to be on the debate stage in California.”

Kinnard says voters in a state like Michigan could make all the difference for President Trump.

“It certainly could be,” she said. “I mean, that’s an audience that. . .Donald Trump has long sought to align with. It was important for him back in 2016.”

Kinnard says it’s likely there will be a smaller number of candidates at next week’s convention.

“The RNC hasn’t said specifically who’s in and who’s out and who’s made the qualifications,” she said. “But it stands to reason that perhaps the field will have whittled a little bit in terms of who can meet those markers for donor and polling numbers.”

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Breaking down President Trump’s decision to skip second GOP debate