Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz slammed front-runner Donald Trump on Wednesday for skipping the GOP debate scheduled for next week.
“His excuse is silliness, and it reflects his assumption that he thinks the voters can’t figure out that he’s not telling them the truth,” Cruz said on “The Kelly File” on Fox News Wednesday night.
Wednesday he would not show up to the Fox News debate scheduled for Monday in Salt Lake City because he was scheduled to give a “major speech” at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. He also said there had been “enough debates.”
“I thought the last debate on CNN was the last debate, that was going to be it. Nobody told me there were going to be more debates,” Trump said. “I think we’ve had enough debates.”
After he backed out, fellow candidate John Kasich followed suit. Fox News proceeded to cancel the debate..
Cruz used the cancellation to revive his harsh criticisms of Trump over refusing to appear at debates.
Cruz first used the phrase
when Trump announced he would not participate in a Fox News debate held in Iowa earlier this year. Cruz said it was because Trump was “afraid of Megyn Kelly,” but said he’d be open to debating Trump one-on-one.
The website, DuckingDonald.com, goes to a page where people can sign a petition saying the front-runner should debate in Salt Lake City.
“Donald is scared to debate because he knows Ted Cruz will expose him as unprepared to be President and Commander in Chief,” the page says
“Donald apparently is ducking, he’s afraid of being challenged,” Cruz said Wednesday on Fox News. “That’s because the race has shifted to a terrain that is not favorable to him.”
Cruz said AIPAC would have allowed Trump to speak at anytime, noting it’s a multi-day conference.
“He chose to speak right in the middle of the debate because he’s scared to debate and he looks down on the voters. He thinks they’re gullible and will believe whatever he’s saying,” he said.
But Cruz said he’ll be in Washington, D.C., for the AIPAC conference as well, and since Trump is “running away from the debate,” he’d be “happy to debate him there.”
“I’m happy to debate him in Utah, where the debate was supposed to happen, or D.C. or anywhere else,” he said. “But I suspect Donald will continue running and hiding.”