As his rivals gather for the first Republican presidential debate next month, former President Donald Trump is likely to be among them, according to former White House aide Kellyanne Conway.
Conway, who helped manage Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, said that despite Trump’s public pronouncements that he may skip the debate, she expects that he will not be able to turn down the opportunity to mix it up on stage with his opponents.
“If I were you, I would keep that center podium warm because maybe he’ll make the announcement the day of,” Conway said during a Fox News interview Monday, according to the Washington Times. “You just never know.”
Former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested that the former president may participate in the first Republican presidential primary debate but will likely “keep everybody in suspense” in the lead-up. https://t.co/ORJqXSFe31
— The Hill (@thehill) July 25, 2023
Conway summarized the crosscurrents of Trump joining the debate.
“On the one hand, he’s acting like a front-runner. He’s way ahead. What does he have to gain by going?” she said.
“On the other hand, that’s a natural habitat for him,” she continued.
Conway noted that the August 2015 debate in Trump’s first campaign leapfrogged him past the others in the crowded GOP field.
“He got center stage, he never lost it, became the nominee and indeed the president,” she said.
Conway added her preference.
“I hope he goes,” she said, according to Mediaite.
Trump is among a handful of candidates who have qualified for the Aug. 23 debate in Milwaukee, which will be televised by Fox News.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have also qualified, according to Fox News.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced Tuesday that he has also qualified, according to CBS.
Christie is asked about Trump skipping debates: “Makes my life even better, because then I won’t have to talk over him. He loves to interrupt everybody. I’m going to talk about Trump and his record whether he’s on the stage or not.” pic.twitter.com/RF9nV5Jhaq
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) July 25, 2023
Christie said Trump should attend, according to the Washington Times.
“We’re going to go in there, and he should be on that stage because he owes it to the Republican Party voters to get on the stage, defend his record and talk about his vision for the future,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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