Next week’s Republican debate, hosted by Fox News, is canceled, the Republican National Convention confirms.
The debate was scheduled for March 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. First confirmations of the debate cancellation came from local media reports, as well as the Salt Palace Convention Center, where it was set to be held, and Fox News.
The cancellation comes after Donald Trump said in an interview he did not intend to appear at the debate.
“We’ve had 11 or 12 debates; I did really well on the last one, I think I’ve done well on all the debates,” Trump said on Fox News Wednesday morning. “I mean, according to Drudge and everybody else, I won the debates. But I think we’ve had enough.”
Trump went on to say that the debates had become repetitive and that no one had told him about the upcoming one in Utah.
“How many times can the same people ask you the same question?” Trump said. “So I was very surprised when I heard that Fox called for a debate. Nobody told me about it and I will not be there, no.”
The GOP front-runner echoed this sentiment last week at a news conference, in which he said he thought there have been enough debates.
Fox News released a statement on the situation Wednesday afternoon.
“This morning, Donald Trump announced he would not be participating in the debate,” the statement read. “Shortly afterward, John Kasich’s campaign announced that without Trump at the debate, Kasich would not participate. Ted Cruz has expressed a willingness to debate Trump or Kasich – or both. But obviously, there needs to be more than one participant. So the Salt Lake City debate is cancelled.”
Fox News hosts Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace were slated to moderate. Trump has been engaged in an ongoing public feud with Kelly, dating back to the first Republican presidential debate last August. The business mogul went after Kelly again last night, calling her “crazy” and “unwatchable.”
Trump said he would instead appear at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) event.
“I’m making a very major speech in front of a very important group of people,” he told the hosts of “Fox and Friends.”
The news comes after Trump’s victories last night in the Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina primaries.