Donald Trump has refused to participate in all four GOP presidential debates this year, but he revealed Friday what it would take for him to finally participate in the time-honored tradition.
The former president and current front-runner for the Republican nomination addressed the possibility of a debate stage appearance during an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show.
“Will you do a debate with any of the Republican people challenging you if, after [the New Hampshire primary], there’s only one Republican left? Will you debate that Republican?” Hewitt asked.
“Yeah, I would, if it’s very close,” Trump said. “I would debate that Republican. Yeah, but it’s not close.”
Despite four recent indictments related to his time as president and a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court that he’s disqualified from the presidency because of 14th Amendment violations, Trump is polling light-years ahead of his rivals for the GOP nomination. According to an average of polls collected by Five Thirty Eight, Trump is polling at 62%, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trailing at 11.9% and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley polling at 10.8%. Every other candidate is polling in the single digits.
In the months leading up to the first GOP debate in August, Trump repeatedly said he saw no point in debating people with polling numbers so far behind his. He confirmed his decision days before the first debate, posting on Truth Social: “The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” adding, “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
There are three more GOP debates scheduled for next month: two hosted by CNN on Jan. 10 and 21, and one hosted by ABC News on Jan. 18.