Donald Trump decided on Tuesday night that he would not participate in Thursday night’s Republican Presidential debate which will be televised on and moderated by Fox News. The front runner has stated he will instead create a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project and other veteran charities. Trump has spoken out, since last August, when Fox hosted the first Republican Candidate Presidential debate, about the impartial and biased reporting of journalist Megyn Kelly. With Trump out, Senator Ted Cruz, (R-TX), is looking to benefit from Trump’s absence and has even sought to capitalize on it.
Donald Trump’s had pledged that he will not appear in the Iowa debate and that has given Cruz a window of opportunity to offer Trump a one-on-one debate between the two leaders in the Republican field. Tuesday night in an interview with Mark Levin, Cruz said, “If Donald is afraid of Megyn Kelly, I would like to invite him on your show to participate in a one on one debate, between me and Donald, mano a mano.” Cruz continued, “I think every candidate for president owes it to the voters, and in particular owes it to the men and women of Iowa, to go and humble yourself and put yourself before them and answer their hard questions.” Then Cruz hit upon a running theme of “New York Values” that he said Trump “suffered” from. Cruz then said, “Nobody is going to get elected president from a TV studio in Manhattan or New York.”
Cruz then stated that “we’ll do 90 minutes, Lincoln Douglas, mano a mano. Donald and me. He can lay out his vision or this country, and I can lay out my vision for this country in front of the men and women of Iowa.” Cruz went as far as to suggest who could moderate the debate. Cruz suggested that conservatives like Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh would be excellent choices for a moderator. Cruz even went as far to try to embarrass Trump by tweeting out images of Monty Python’s Brave Sir Robin Ran Away and then creating a character Ducking Donald asking for people to call on Trump to debate.
The Trump campaign answered Cruz’s call to action by telling ABC News, “If he’s the last man standing and it comes down to a two-person race Donald Trump will be happy to debate him.” The Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also took exception to the idea that Donald Trump was afraid to face Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly after her blistering question from the first debate in August regarding Trump’s treatment of women. Lewandowski said on “Good Morning America” Wednesday morning that “He’s not afraid to take a question” and that Megyn Kelly has actually become obsessed with Donald Trump. Now that Trump has decided not to be on the debate stage, Cruz will take over the center podium.