Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump decided to skip the upcoming Fox News Republican debate in Salt Lake City, so Fox News canceled the entire thing.
Trump said on "Fox & Friends" March 16, according to Breitbart:
I think we've had enough debates. We’ve had 11 or 12 debates. I did really well on the last one. I think I’ve done well in all the debates. I mean, according to Drudge and everybody else, I have won the debates. But I think we’ve had enough; how many times can the same people ask you the same question? So I was very surprised when I heard that Fox called for a debate. Nobody told me about it. And I won’t be there, no.
Trump also explained that he is scheduled to give a speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on March 21, the same day that the Fox debate was scheduled.
“I am making a big speech the night of the Fox News debate, but I wish everyone well,” Trump tweeted.
After word got out that Trump would not be attending the debate, Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio said he would also skip the debate.
"Donald Trump's decision to scuttle the Salt Lake City debate is disappointing, but not surprising. His values are out of step with the people of Utah," John Weaver, Kasich's chief campaign strategist, said in a statement. "We had hoped to contrast Governor Kasich's positive inclusive approach to problem solving with Trump's campaign of division. If he changes his mind, we will be there."
With both Trump and Kasich out, Fox News Channel Executive Vice President Michael Clemente explained that they would have to cancel the entire event.
"This morning, Donald Trump announced he would not be participating in the debate," Clemente said in a statement, according to the Washington Post. "Shortly afterward, John Kasich's campaign announced that without Trump at the debate, Kasich would not participate. Ted Cruz has expressed a willingness to debate Trump or Kasich — or both. But obviously, there needs to be more than one participant. So the Salt Lake City debate is cancelled."
This is the second Fox News debate that Trump has refused to go to. In January, shortly before the Iowa caucus, Trump refused to participate in a debate after he roundly criticized Fox News for being biased against him. He then held his own event for veterans during the same time slot as the debate.
Trump later stated that he believed skipping the debate hurt him in Iowa, where he finished in second place, according to the Washington Post.