EDITORIAL: Donald Trump Drops Out of Last GOP Debate

By: Joel Bryant

Four days ago, Fox News announced that they would host the next and final GOP debate this Monday in Salt Lake City. The debate was going to be moderated by Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier and feature every Republican who is still running-even if they don’t have a clear path to the nomination. So, it would’ve been just like the last two debates.

The idea of having another debate became all the more enticing following Marco Rubio’s dismal performance in the Tuesday primaries and subsequent drop-out. After starting out with 17 candidates, the debate would’ve featured just two and a half- Trump, Ted Cruz, and uh… John Kasich.

Sadly, Donald Trump cowered out.

It is no secret that Trump has benefited from the vast array of candidates in the race. While Trump’s group — about 35-40% of the party — have remained steady supporters of the real estate “master”, the majority of Republicans have been divided across every other candidate. Among these other presidential hopefuls, Ted Cruz has had by far the strongest support and has defeated The Donald in eight different states.

As primary season has progressed and other candidates have bit the dust, Cruz’s support has grown as he picks up the republicans who oppose Trump. This opposition should not be taken lightly, and Trump knows it. In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, republicans favor Cruz over Trump by a 13% margin in the event of a head-to-head matchup, with 54% in support of Cruz and 41% in support of Trump.

With Rubio out, this has become a two person race between Trump and Cruz. The debate would’ve been the first showdown between the two, considering that John Kasich gets walked over in every debate and just seems happy to be there.

One would think that Trump, a candidate so narcissistic and full of himself, wouldn’t have a problem debating Cruz, a person whom he called a liar and other words that aren’t appropriate for the school newspaper. But no, Trump decided to back out of the debate.

This is not because Trump is tired of having debates, as he claims. I can assure you that the man loves seeing himself on TV and cherishes the attention he receives as a result. He is a showman and entertainer, so let’s not act like he’s tired of going under the bright lights. The true reason behind his decision to not show up is that he is afraid of Cruz.

What is Trump afraid of, though? Well, Trump knows that Cruz can expose him in a one-on-one, Lincoln-Douglas style debate. The reality is that Trump never has been, and never will be, a true conservative. Trump has deceived the media and the republican base with his so-called conservative views. Slowly but surely, slip-ups on behalf of the Trump campaign and attacks from Cruz have revealed the billionaire candidate for what he really is: a mere resurgence of the Populist Movement. A head-to-head debate with Cruz, potentially the most conservative presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, will certainly prove this.

Donald Trump is a bizarre and frightening presidential candidate. His lack of understanding of key foreign policy issues, Hooveresque economic policies, and terrible temperament are deeply concerning to me and millions of other Americans.

Of course, Donald is more than welcome to explain why each of the above statements are untrue, and I would welcome his argument. Too bad he’s too afraid to face off with Senator Cruz. Sad!