Though Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump dominated the first debate, he faltered in the second. Now, there’s speculation he might be absent from the third one altogether.
During a Republican National Committee conference call to discuss the Oct. 28 debate, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, threatened to pull out if his demands for format aren’t meant, Politico reported.
Lewandowski said that if the debate doesn’t include opening and closing statements and runs for more than two hours, including commercials, Trump would consider sitting out the debate.
According to Donald Trump’s Twitter account, CNBC, which is hosting the next debate in Boulder, Colorado, is “pushing the [GOP] around by asking for extra time (and no criteria) in order to sell more commercials.” Still, Trump and his campaign have stayed quiet on whether or not he will participate.
Trump’s campaign isn’t the only one considering pulling out if certain demands aren’t met.
Jason Miller, Ted Cruz’s strategist, suggested that his candidate would consider not attending the debate if there aren’t closing and opening remarks.
Chris LaCivita, an aide to Rand Paul, agreed and reportedly said: “If we don’t have opening and closing statements, CNBC can go f--- themselves.”
Both Marco Rubio’s and Jeb Bush’s campaign managers promised they would be there no matter what, but voiced their preference for opening and closing statements.
The decision to change the format of the debate has not yet been made, but Lindsey Graham’s representative said he would gladly take anyone’s place if they didn’t show up.