It appears Donald Trump eventually will be not be appearing at Thursday night’s Republican debate. Republican 2016 presidential candidates are due to take to the debate stage in Iowa to battle it out among themselves, even without the GOP front runner, Donald Trump. His absence presents a particular challenge to Ted Cruz. The Texas senator in the last debate traded barbs with the business mogul, although neither gained the upper hand. Ever since, he has been sharpening his attacks and appeared eager to use his polished debate skills to win round two. Trump’s absence however, denies him that opportunity.
Trump hosts parallel event
Meanwhile, Donald Trump will take his spotlight to a different venue, where he can employ his unconventional rhetorical skills without challenge. The billionaire businessman will hold a competing rally, which could draw attention from the main event just days before the important Iowa caucuses. Trump decided to withdraw from the debate after Fox News refused to drop host Megyn Kelly, whom Mr Trump accused of bias.
Iowa caucus will be the test ground
According to the BBC, the Iowa caucus will be the first real test of the election campaign, and the beginning of a series of state-by-state contests to chose delegates for both Republicans and Democrats. Iowa is the first state to vote in the primary election process, and can be an important moment for candidates to gain momentum as they try to secure their party’s nomination.
Trump is taking a gamble, deepens rift with Fox News
Trump took to has tried to down play the debate: “The ‘debate’ tonight will be a total disaster,” Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday morning. “Low ratings with advertisers and advertising rates dropping like a rock. I hate to see this.” A Fox News spokesperson rejected Trump’s statement, saying “The debate is completely sold out. No rates have changed and there are no advertisers who have backed out.”