Republican debate goes ahead without Trump

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Donald Trump won't be onstage when Republican presidential candidates make their final appeals to Iowa voters in Thursday night's debate, and that gives the rest of the field a rare opportunity to frame the election in their own terms, at least for one night.

See Full Article

Trump is boycotting the debate in a dispute with host Fox News. Instead, he is holding a competing rally a few miles away that is likely to draw significant attention -- as well as the participation of some lower-polling candidates hoping to draft off the front-runner's success.

Even with Trump's shadow hanging over the debate, his closest competitors are eager for an opportunity to break through in his absence. They also hope his boycott will be viewed negatively by voters in Iowa, which kicks off voting in the 2016 presidential race next Monday.

"I think it'll hurt him that he's not showing up in the Iowa debate four days before the Iowa caucuses," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told CNN.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Republicans "don't have time for these kinds of distractions."

Trump has led the Republican race nationally for months, to the surprise of many. In Iowa, however, polls suggest he's locked in a tight race with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a favourite of the conservatives and evangelical Christians who hold significant sway in the state's Republican caucuses.

For much of Thursday, rival candidates and Fox journalists were prepared for Trump to reverse course and take the stage in the debate. But speaking to reporters on his private plane Thursday evening, he indicated there was no chance he would participate.

Instead, Trump was hosting a rally a few miles away that his campaign said would raise money for wounded warriors. Trump said his campaign had already raised $5 million in contributions.

Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, Iowa caucus winners in the past who have struggled to gain traction in the 2016 campaign, planned to join Trump at the event after appearing in an earlier undercard debate. They were relegated to that secondary contest because of low poll numbers.

With Fox carrying the main debate, other cable channels were likely to show Trump's event, stealing away at least some viewers who would have otherwise watched the contest.

"I think it's typical Trump," said Don Kass, chairman of Iowa's Plymouth County GOP. "He's betting on him making a bigger splash."

While earlier debates have been instrumental in the rise and fall of several GOP candidates, they have had minimal apparent impact on Trump's standing. He's preferred to make his case to potential voters in national television interviews and on Twitter, and has sometimes played a less forceful role in the debates.

Trump's absence was likely to turn attention to Cruz, a firebrand conservative disdained by many in his party, and Rubio, who is hoping a third-place finish in Iowa could help him establish him as the choice of more traditional Republicans.

Others on the debate stage will have their eyes on New Hampshire, where they're hoping a strong showing in the Feb. 9 primary will jumpstart their White House hopes. Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have all devoted the bulk of their campaign resources to New Hampshire.

Also on the main debate stage Thursday: retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has a loyal following in Iowa, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who was relegated to the undercard in the last debate.

Iowa's fast food workers, meanwhile, hoped to draw at least 1,000 low-wage workers to rally for change outside Thursday's debate venue.

Trump's Fox feud dates back to the first Republican primary debate, when moderator Megyn Kelly took the billionaire business mogul to task over derogatory statements he'd made toward women. Trump had threatened to boycott Thursday's debate if Fox stuck with plans for Kelly to moderate again but later said it was a sarcastic statement from the network that was the final straw.

That statement said the leaders of Iran and Russia "both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president" and 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."

Associated Press writers Steve Peoples and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Ivanka Trump: A White House force, just not an employee

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump will have a security clearance, a West Wing office and the ear of her father on important policy matters. But don't call her an employee. When it comes to government work, "employee" is more than just a word. Source
  • Ukraine official says Russian agent killed Kremlin critic

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- A senior Ukrainian official says the killer of Kremlin critic Denis Voronenkov, who was gunned down in Kyiv, was a Russian agent. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, identified the man who shot Voronenkov on Thursday as 28-year old Pavel Parshov and said he had been trained in Russia by Russian security services. Source
  • Egypt's Mubarak returns home after years-long detention

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- An Egyptian security official says ousted President Hosni Mubarak is back at home, free following his release from custody after legal proceedings that took years during which the country witnessed major upheavals. The official says Mubarak left the Armed Forces hospital in Cairo's southern suburb of Maadi earlier in the morning on Friday and went to his house in the upscale district of Heliopolis under heavy security measures. Source
  • Victoria police chief to undergo disciplinary hearings on misconduct allegations

    Canada News CTV News
    Victoria's suspended police chief is to face disciplinary hearings on allegations of inappropriate behaviour toward female staff and breach of trust involving his conduct with an officer's wife. British Columbia's Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner issued a statement Thursday saying two retired judges found enough evidence for eight of 11 allegations against Frank Elsner to proceed to hearings. Source
  • Halifax police charge N.B. man with murder in death of woman 12 years ago

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A New Brunswick man has been charged with second-degree murder almost 12 years after the body of a 26-year-old woman was found in a Halifax apartment. Investigators in the cold case unit of the Halifax Regional Police said Thursday that Donald Murray Peters, 50, was arrested without incident in Saint John, N.B. Source
  • House chairman apologizes for briefing Trump

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - The White House claimed vindication while the House intelligence committee chairman privately apologized in the wake of his decision to brief U.S. President Donald Trump on secret intelligence intercepts related to a probe of Russian interference in the election. Source
  • London attacker, born Adrian Russell Ajao, used rental car to mow down pedestrians

    World News CBC News
    Khalid Masood, the 52-year-old man who attacked Britain's Parliament on Wednesday, killing four people and wounding some 50, was named Adrian Russell Ajao at birth, London's top counterterror officer said Friday. Mark Rowley revealed the name in a briefing outside Scotland Yard in which he also announced two more "significant" arrests had been made. Source
  • Should First Nations 'social emergencies' receive the same response as natural disasters?

    Canada News CBC News
    A rash of suicides; a car crash that claims multiple members of the same family; the arrival of a new, highly addictive drug — First Nations in northern Ontario say these kinds of social emergencies require the same approach as forest fires or floods. Source
  • UN seeks to reverse 'radical decline' in donations to North Korea

    World News CBC News
    International sanctions on North Korea are taking a serious toll on humanitarian aid activities, according to a United Nations-led report. The report issued this week by the UN's senior resident official in Pyongyang said sanctions are inadvertently hindering legitimate operations on the ground and have indirectly contributed to a "radical decline" in donations it said are badly needed by millions of North Korean women and children. Source
  • McGill rejects 'unfounded rumours' over academic freedom after Andrew Potter's resignation

    Canada News CBC News
    McGill University is addressing what it calls "unfounded rumours and concerns regarding academic freedom" following Andrew Potter's resignation from his post as director of the Institute for the Study of Canada. "I want to assure members of the McGill community that academic freedom is a foundational principle of McGill University," principal Suzanne Fortier said late Thursday in an open letter to the university community. Source