On Fox & Friends on Wednesday morning, Trump said he will not attend the March 21 debate, which is being hosted by Fox News.
Kasich’s campaign strategist John Weaver Tweeted shortly after that Kasich, too, would not attend “due to Trump backing out.”
Weaver said in a statement to Fox 13 in Salt Lake City:
“Donald Trump’s decision to scuttle the Salt Lake City debate is disappointing, but not surprising. His values are out of step with the people of Utah. We had hoped to contrast Governor Kasich’s positive inclusive approach to problem solving with Trump’s campaign of division. If he changes his mind, we will be there.”
Trump said instead of attending the debate, he will speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is the same night. AIPAC said Trump is confirmed to speak at its annual conference about American policies on Israel.
Trump claimed that he only recently found out about the debate, and he can’t cancel his speech.
“I’m making a major speech in front of a very important group of people,” Trump told Fox & Friends.
Trump said he would consider doing future debates, though he declined to commit.
“I think we’ve had enough debates,” Trump said. “How many times can you answer the same question?”
Fox News announced Monday that it will host the March 21 debate in Salt Lake City, but the debate had been penciled into the calendar in February. It will be the 13th debate of the Republican presidential primary contest.