Adviser says Trump doesn’t need to debate until GOP opponents ‘show they belong even on the same stage’

Jason Miller, a longtime adviser to former President Trump, said Wednesday the former president does not need to debate until his GOP rivals “show they belong even on the same stage.” 

“[Trump is] up by a lot, I don’t think he needs to [debate] right now. I think he’s in the driver’s seat,” Miller said in an interview on NewsNation’s “The Hill.” “And … until some of these guys actually show that they belong even on the same stage as him, then I would say he doesn’t need to.” 

Echoing the same argument Trump used when he skipped the first GOP primary debate, Miller pointed to the former president’s strong lead in the Republican primary polls. Recent polling from Morning Consult shows 3 in 5, or 60 percent, of potential GOP primary voters back Trump, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trailing far behind at 15 percent. 

Trump has maintained this lead in recent weeks, despite his mounting legal challenges.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump was asked by radio host Hugh Hewitt if he would attend a debate in Alabama, to which the former president said, “I’ll make that decision, I would love to go to anything involved with Alabama.”

The question came amid reports that the University of Alabama may host the third Republican presidential debate.

When asked if debating is back on the table for Trump, Miller said, “President Trump has said that he’s not going to be doing the debates, and I would take that at face value until he says something differently.” 

Miller also noted Trump’s desire to debate President Biden, who Miller said “does not look so good these days.” 

“When it comes to Joe Biden, I tell you, President Trump is chomping at the bit to get Joe Biden on that stage,” Miller said. “Sleepy does not look so good these days, and we saw where he’s wandering out of the military ceremony, not looking good,” Miller continued, in reference to Biden appearing to walk out of a U.S. military medal ceremony Tuesday. 

In the weeks leading up to last month’s GOP primary debate, Trump signaled he would not attend, citing his lead in the polls days before the debate as a primary reason. Trump announced on social media he would skip the debate and instead sit for an interview with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson. 

Carlson’s interview with Trump was released at 8:55 p.m., five minutes before the debate in Milwaukee kicked off. 

Tags 2024 GOP debates 2024 GOP presidential primary 2024 presidential election Donald Trump Jason Miller Joe Biden Ron DeSantis Tucker Carlson