The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board is calling former President Donald Trump out for declining to engage with his primary competitors on a debate stage.
The editorial board noted on Wednesday evening Trump is planning to skip the second Republican primary debate, and will give a speech to union workers instead.
“Why is Mr. Trump afraid to confront other Republicans without the aid of a teleprompter? Is he worried he’d look his age at 77 next to younger candidates?” the op-ed asked.
The board argued, “To state the obvious, Mr. Trump is running to be President and leader of the free world. Voters deserve to hear him defend his record and his platform.”
It went on to list a series of issues it believes the former president needs to explain his position on, such as abortion where he claimed he would “come up with a number” for a cut-off for abortion.
“How? By spinning a giant wheel, like on a TV game show, except marked with ’10 weeks,’ ’15 weeks,’ and so forth? The public takes the abortion question seriously, and Mr. Trump owes a serious answer,” the board wrote.
It also noted former National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed Trump privately implied he would not defend Taiwan if it was attacked by China and asked, “Is that what he thinks now?”
Turning to Jan. 6, the board pointed out a majority of candidates in the first debate said they believed former Vice President Mike Pence was right to move ahead with the certification of the 2020 election.
“Mr. Trump should give his response, including his answer to why his contrary theory wouldn’t let Vice President Kamala Harris reject Republican electors after the 2024 campaign,” the column insisted.
It also touched on the age issue in the election:
“The public is understandably worried about the visible decline of Mr. Biden, who is 80 years old and would be 86 at the end of a second term. Yet Mr. Trump would be 82 at the end of his second term in 2029, and he isn’t exactly in shape to set records at the YMCA senior triathlon. Do the concerns about age not apply to him?”
The editorial board then asked if it would be better to nominte someone who is not from the same generation as President Joe Biden.
Finally, the op-ed argued, “Trump’s advisers may be telling him he shouldn’t appear lest he say something that hurts his legal defense. But that’s a sign of weakness, not strength, and he’ll have to answer those questions eventually. What is the former President afraid of?”
The op-ed comes after Trump traded barbs with the paper. Earlier this month, he called those who work at the WSJ “morons” after a poll asked voters about his age.
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