Trump withdraws from Iowa debate, criticising moderator choice

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa - Republican front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday bowed out of the final Republican presidential debate before the leadoff Iowa caucuses, saying Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly is "a lightweight.

See Full Article

"

With 48 hours to go before the faceoff, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed Trump's decision Tuesday evening after a press conference in which Trump lashed out at Kelly and said she'd been "toying" with him.

"He will not be participating in the Fox News debate Thursday," Lewandowski said immediately after the press conference.

Trump, who called his decision "pretty close to irrevocable" in the press conference, said he'd hold an Iowa event at the same time as the debate to raise money for wounded veterans. Iowa hosts the nation's opening presidential nominating contest on Monday.

"With me, they're dealing with somebody that's a little bit different. They can't toy with me like they toy with everybody else," he said. "Let them have their debate and let's see how they do with the ratings."

He added, "Why do I have to make Fox rich?"

On Tuesday night's airing of her Fox News show, "The Kelly File," Kelly said she'll be at the debate, which will "go on with or without Mr. Trump."

In a statement released Tuesday night, a Fox News spokesperson said Trump is still welcome to participate in the debate, but will not be allowed to "dictate the moderators or the questions."

"Capitulating to politicians' ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards," Fox said.

The Republican National Committee said the decision was up to Trump.

"Obviously we would love all of the candidates to participate but each campaign ultimately makes their own decision what's in their best interest," said RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer.

Trump had suggested he might skip the Fox debate earlier in the day, drawing a sarcastic statement from the television network that "the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president."

"A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings," the Fox statement said.

A Fox spokesman did not immediately respond to Trump's decision.

The New York real estate mogul's presence has helped produce massive ratings in the previous six Republican presidential debates. His decision leaves seven candidates to share the primetime stage on Thursday: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

"Let them have their debate. I'm going to raise money during that period of time for the wounded warriors and for the vets. Let Fox play its games," Trump said.

He added, "I don't' think Iowa's gonna care."

Cruz has emerged as the main challenger to Trump in Iowa. At an evening rally, Cruz offered to face Trump in a one-on-one debate anytime. He said Trump was scared of Kelly, telling supporters that skipping the debate was like refusing a job interview.

"If someone did that, didn't show up at the interview, you know what you'd say? You're fired," Cruz said, riffing on Trump's famous rejoinder from his reality TV show "The Apprentice."

At the very least, the high-profile debate feud serves as a major distraction in the Republican contest just six days before Iowa voters cast the first votes in the 2016 primary contest.

Trump has proven to be a master of commanding media attention at key moments. Among other things, he has previously called for a temporary ban on all Muslim immigrants and later questioned Cruz's presidential eligibility given that he was born in Canada.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Mexico identifies 56 sets of human remains in mass grave

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors said Sunday that 56 sets of human remains have been identified in a jumble of bone fragments found at a burial pit in Mexico’s northern border state of Nuevo Leon. State prosecutors said the pit was discovered in February 2016 on a rural hillside in Garcia, near the northern city of Monterrey. Source
  • Canada poised to deport serial rapist

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Authorities in Malaysia are on alert as Canada gets set to deport an unrepentant serial rapist back to his homeland. The Ottawa-based High Commissioner of Malaysia is taking the “necessary action” regarding Selva Kumar Subbiah, spokesman Dzulkefly Abdullah said in an e-mail, without elaborating. Source
  • 'An awakening' for Canadians attending U.S. women’s marches

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian women who attended women's marches in the United States on Saturday say the events have left them feeling inspired. Busloads of Canadians from Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and other cities crossed the border Friday and Saturday to attend the anti-Donald Trump marches, including a major one in Washington, D.C. Source
  • Trudeau cabinet kicks off Calgary retreat with talk of Trump, security

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues have arrived in Calgary for a three-day retreat to ready themselves for the realities of governing in the Donald Trump era, and to hear from experts who they've tapped to help guide them through a potentially tumultuous time with the new U.S. Source
  • Canada not the focus of Trump's NAFTA talk, ambassador says

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues have arrived in Calgary for a three-day retreat to ready themselves for the realities of governing in the Donald Trump era, and to hear from experts who they've tapped to help guide them through a potentially tumultuous time with the new U.S. Source
  • 1 dead, multiple injured in Texas mall shooting

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN ANTONIO — A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said. Source
  • Experienced skier killed in B.C. avalanche

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    NELSON, B.C. — Police say a woman from Anchorage, Alaska was the victim of fatal avalanche near Nelson, B.C. RCMP say the 32-year-old was skiing with two others near Qua Peak in the southern part of the province on Saturday morning. Source
  • Trump, amid combative start, pledges to rise to moment [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday offered a scattershot response to the sweeping post-inauguration protests against his new administration, sarcastically undermining the public opposition and then defending demonstrators’ rights a short time later. “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly,” tweeted Trump, at 7:51 a.m. Source
  • One dead in Texas mall shooting

    World News CTV News
    Authorities in San Antonio say one person is dead and five others have been injured after two men robbed a jewellery store in a San Antonio shopping mall. Police Chief William McManus said that after the two suspects fled the store on Sunday, one of them fatally shot a "good Samaritan" who tried to stop them. Source
  • One dead, 5 injured in Texas mall shooting

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO -- A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said. Source