Donlad Trump turned down a debate with Bernie Sanders, after openly welcoming the idea on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Expressing his disappointment, Sanders has hoped the GOP candidate changes his mind “once again.”
Likely Republican nominee Donald Trump backed out of one of the most eagerly anticipated debates with Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. The billionaire real estate mogul had surprised everyone earlier this week when he graciously accepted to debate with Sanders, when asked by Jimmy Kimmel on his TV show.
Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 26, 2016
However, Trump on Friday said it would be “inappropriate” to debate with Sanders, effectively decimating the increasing euphoria amidst voters. Issuing a statement, Trump said the following.
“As much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders — and it would be an easy payday — I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be. It seems inappropriate to debate the second place finisher.”
Trump and Sanders had sent the voters in a tizzy by openly hinting they were open for a debate. Incidentally, it was Donald Trump who had the set the ball rolling during his interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Asked by Kimmel if he would debate Sanders, Trump replied he would certainly consider engaging the Democratic presidential hopeful. However, Trump added that Sanders would have to donate to a charity.
“Yes, I am. How much is he going to pay me? If he paid a nice sum toward a charity, I’d love to do that.”
Moreover, the Republican candidate asked that the network hosting the debate must donate all proceeds to charity.
“If we can raise for maybe women’s health issues or something — if we can raise 10 or 15 million dollars for charity, which would be a very appropriate amount. I understand the television business very well.”
However, on Friday, Trump backtracked. Saying the debate would let networks “make a killing” on the event without donating to charitable causes, he refused to participate.
Sanders says he hopes Trump changes his mind about debating him. "What are you so afraid of?" he asks. https://t.co/f05mPhZbiF
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders, who had not wasted any time in confirming his acceptance to the debate, openly expressed his disappointment. Mocking Donald Trump, Sanders said the following.
“In recent days, Donald Trump has said he wants to debate, he doesn’t want to debate, he wants to debate and, now, he doesn’t want to debate. Well, I hope that he changes his mind again. Mr. Trump has been known to change his mind many times in a day.”
Sanders even called Trump a “bully,” and added, “Well Mr. Trump, what are you afraid of?”
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) May 27, 2016
Sanders’ campaign noted that multiple networks had expressed their interest in hosting the hotly-anticipated debate. Needless to say, the Sanders campaign has been looking forward to the debate with Donald Trump. The debate, which could have taken place in California, would have offered one of the best promotional opportunities to Sanders. The state is the biggest primary on the calendar and the publicity would have boosted Sanders’ appeal, especially after Hillary Clinton had turned down the opportunity to debate him, inviting public criticism.
Many in the camp want to extend the spotlight on Sanders. The candidate trails significantly behind Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race, but refuses to step down. He has vowed to stay in the race until the Democrat convention that’s scheduled to take place this summer. After receiving the news about Trump’s refusal, Sanders issued a statement that read as follows.
“There is a reason why in virtually every national and statewide poll I am defeating Donald Trump, sometimes by very large margins and almost always by far larger margins than Secretary Clinton. There is a reason for that reality and the American people should be able to see it up front in a good debate and a clash of ideas.”
[Photos by Win McNamee and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]