Pence on Trump skipping second GOP debate: 'I think it's a missed opportunity'

September 22, 2023
Robert Ayers

Former Vice President Mike Pence recently criticized former President Donald Trump's decision to skip the second Republican presidential primary debate. 

Pence did so during an interview that he participated in on Monday with CBS News.

Pence, like Trump, is running for the U.S. presidency in 2024. But, unlike Trump, it does not appear that Pence has any chance of winning the Republican Party's nomination. Whereas Trump leads the Republican field by, on average, 45 percentage points, Pence is sitting in fifth place with only 4.1% of the vote.

Pence, nevertheless, continues to campaign, and, in the process of doing so, he often directs criticism at Trump.

"A missed opportunity"

During the CBS interview, Pence was asked to give his thoughts about Trump's decision to skip the second GOP primary debate.

"I think it’s a missed opportunity for Donald Trump, and I think it’s a missed opportunity for Republican voters," Pence said.

The former vice president went on to explain why.

He said:

Look, this country is in a lot of trouble. Joe Biden has weakened America at home and abroad, and I think the former president — just like all the rest of us vying for the Republican nomination — owe it to the American people to express what our agenda will be for turning this country around.

Pence may have a point here.


Trump skipped the first GOP primary debate and he is skipping the second GOP primary debate because he has such a commanding lead in the polls. Trump has indicated as much on multiple occasions, arguing that it would be foolish to risk things by participating in a debate with candidates who, unlike himself, have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Many, however, believe that participating in the debate would not be risky at all for Trump, but, rather, would only be to his benefit, particularly considering his performances in past debates. There probably is some truth to this, but Trump has made it clear that he is not going to risk it.

During the first GOP primary debate, Trump, instead, interviewed with Tucker Carlson, an interview that garnered over 260 million views.

This time, during the second GOP primary debate, Trump is going to give a speech to autoworkers. We'll have to see if, once again, Trump's event proves to be more popular than the debate.

Pence will be among those on the debate stage next week. It is being reported that he will be joined by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, among others.

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