White House: Obama never shied away from a debate
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White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday chided Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE over the businessman's decision to skip the GOP debate on Thursday evening. 
 
"The president himself noted that he was not a big fan of participating in presidential debates, but he never backed out of a debate two days before it was scheduled to be held," Earnest told reporters.
 
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The Obama aide noted that those appearances reflected the president's own "commitment to the process and making good on one's commitments" to follow through and show up. 
 
Trump said late Tuesday that he was likely to skip the debate Thursday night hosted by Fox News, claiming unfair treatment; his campaign said it plans to hold his own event simultaneously.
 
"We've seen over the last several months that Mr. Trump has repeatedly chosen to kick reporters out of the room for asking tough questions. It appears he's taking that approach to a new level by avoiding those questions entirely," Earnest added during the daily briefing.
 
Trump is slated to appear on Bill O'Reilly's program Wednesday night on the Fox News Channel.