Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump became a figure of ridicule Friday on Twitter after he back-pedaled on his offer to debate Bernie Sanders.
As reported by The Inquisitr, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night, Trump had offered to debate the Vermont senator if someone was willing to sponsor the debate and proceed the funds to charity. Bernie Sanders immediately accepted the challenge, tweeting out that he was “game” for the proposed debate.
A day later, The Young Turks host, Cenk Uygur, offered to donate $1 million to charity if Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders accepted to debate on the online news network, which has in excess of 200 million views on YouTube a month. However, while Sanders had reportedly accepted the offer, Donald Trump backed out, saying that he would only debate if someone was willing to donate at least $10 million to charity.
Many, including Uygur, saw this back-pedaling as an “excuse” dished out by Trump to escape the debate.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) May 27, 2016
In the hours to follow, however, two tech companies tripled Trump’s $10 million asking price and offered to donate up to $30 million to charity if the Republican presumptive nominee agreed on a debate, according to US Uncut. Tech industry investment firm Traction and Scale CEO Richie Hecker offered to donate $10 million, while Top Rank CEO Bob Arum offered to donate $20 million to any charity of the candidates’ choosing, with moderators agreed upon by the candidates.
But despite the asking price having been exceeded, Donald Trump’s campaign released a statement, effectively backing out from the proposed debate, according to Sputnik News.
“Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and (Debbie) Wasserman-Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second-place finisher.”
To which Bernie Sanders immediately had a response.
“Mr. Trump has been known to change his mind many times in a day,” he said. “Well, I hope that he changes his mind again.”
But while Sanders may have accepted Trump’s withdrawal from his own offer with simply a jibe, Twitter was not quite so relenting. As the news of Donald Trump backing out of the debate began pouring in, #ChickenTrump began trending on the micro-blogging site.
At the time of writing, the hashtag continues to trend in the United States.
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) May 28, 2016
— yangtheman (@yangtheman) May 28, 2016
— Tay Jayne (@tayversusworld) May 27, 2016
— New Orleans 4 Bernie (@Nola4Bernie) May 28, 2016
— Zach Haller (@zachhaller) May 28, 2016
— Which Hillary (@WhichhHilllary) May 28, 2016
— Michelle (@Michelle9647) May 28, 2016
Others took similar jibes at the Republican presumptive nominee, arguing that his decision to back out of a debate with Bernie Sanders proves that he is not the leader he projects himself to be.
“Amusing how a man who claims he will take on ISIL is apparently afraid to take on septuagenarian senator from Vermont in a simple war of words,” a statement read by one group.
While Donald Trump would have obviously wanted his retreat from the debate to go unnoticed, Twitter made certain that was not the case.
— Nick Norton (@OnlyForKoolKids) May 28, 2016
However, despite Trump having backed out of his debate with Sanders, there still remains a slim possibility that the American people might see the two candidates jostle it out before the California primary. According to CBS News, Fox News is in back-channel negotiations for an event that would feature both Sanders and Trump.
“It is not a joke and those back channel discussions are continuing and there will be some event in California,” said anchor Bret Baier Thursday.
It remains to be seen if the Sanders-Trump debate turns into reality, but for now, Twittersphere will continue to pound Donald Trump for having backed out of the debate that the world would have tuned in to watch.
— Half Koala (@GreenMyHouz) May 28, 2016
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]