Donald Trump Will Skip the Next Fox News Debate—Again

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In what might be a strategically wise move, Donald Trump will skip the upcoming Republican presidential debate on Fox News, The Hollywood Reporter says. He made the announcement this morning on Fox and Friends, and said that he’ll instead be speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday the 21st, when the debate was scheduled.

“I’ll be honest, no one even told me about it. I thought the last debate on CNN was going to be it,” Trump said this morning. “I won’t be there, no…how many times can the same people ask you the same question?”

Trump skipped an earlier Fox News debate after his well-publicized tiff with Megyn Kelly, but this time, the move appears more tactical than personal. After his big wins in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and (probably) Missouri, Trump is in the proverbial catbird seat, and it looks increasingly unlikely that anybody can stop him. With that in mind, he would obviously be a huge target in the upcoming debates, and with Marco Rubio out of the race, there would be fewer candidates to diffuse the direct attacks. Kasich might not scare him much with his “aw-shucks” act, but Ted Cruz is a skilled debater who has out-performed Trump in recent debates. By not subjecting himself to that particular clash, Trump insulates himself from a late, game-changing mistake.

Then again, maybe it is about Kelly—Trump on Tuesday was still annoyed by her coverage of his campaign, and referred to her more than once as “Crazy Megyn” on Twitter.