Republicans and conservatives have long complained about the unfair nature of presidential debates, be they during the primaries or general election, and often highlighted the biased and at times hostile attitudes of the journalists who frequently serve as moderators for the events.
Now former President Donald Trump appears to have threatened to not participate in the Republican primary debates for the 2024 cycle, the Daily Wire reported.
The threat of non-participation from Trump came just days after Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who Trump recently backed for another term as leader, announced the second of two GOP primary debates that have been planned thus far.
The New York Post reported last week that McDaniel announced that the second RNC-sponsored debate would be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley in Southern California.
However, she did not specify a date for when that debate would be held, nor the format or moderators or general topics, or even which media outlet would broadcast the event.
McDaniel in February had announced that the first RNC-sponsored debate would be held in August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- the city where the GOP will hold its nominating convention in mid-2024 -- and would be broadcast by Fox News.
On Tuesday, former President Trump took to his Truth Social account and wrote, "I see that everybody is talking about the Republican Debates, but nobody got my approval, or the approval of the Trump Campaign, before announcing them."
"When you’re leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers, and you have hostile Networks with angry, TRUMP & MAGA hating anchors asking the 'questions,' why subject yourself to being libeled and abused?" he continued.
Trump also appeared to take issue with the location chosen for the second debate, as he added, "Also, the Second Debate is being held at the Reagan Library, the Chairman of which is, amazingly, Fred Ryan, Publisher of The Washington Post. NO!"
The former president was not quite finished with his critique, however, as just a few hours later he posted more with regard to the Reagan Library, and said, "Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, has always tried to hide the fact that he’s also Chairman of the Reagan Library. He knew the reaction from Real Republicans, not the RINOS that don’t care, would be volatile."
"He’s also hiding it from his Liberal Friends. President Ronald Reagan would not approve!" Trump added.
The Daily Wire noted that if former President Trump were to follow through on the implied threat and not participate in the two RNC-sponsored debates that have been announced thus far, it would not be the first time that he would have done so.
In January 2016, according to Reuters, Trump boycotted a GOP primary debate broadcasted by Fox News over the network's refusal to replace then-host Megyn Kelly as a moderator, and instead held an event of his own in Iowa to honor military veterans.
Then, just two months later, CBS News reported in March 2016 that a GOP debate set to be held in Utah was cancelled after Trump announced that he would not participate -- he told "Fox & Friends" at the time that "I think we have had enough debates" -- which prompted the other remaining candidates to also withdraw from the planned event.