Cruz: Trump ducking debates
© Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE is accusing Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE of ducking additional GOP presidential debates.

A day after Trump’s triumph in New York’s primary, Cruz noted that well over a month had passed since the Republican presidential candidates held a debate, and he blamed the front-runner.


“It’s been 41 days since we’ve had a Republican debate, because Donald Trump is unwilling to stand on stage and debate, because he can’t defend his positions or his policies,” Cruz told reporters during the Republican National Committee's spring meeting. 

“Donald concluded the people of New York didn’t deserve a debate, but you know what? I think the people of Pennsylvania deserve a debate. I think there ought to be a debate before the vote next Tuesday.”

Trump pulled out of the last scheduled debate in favor of a speech at the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington. That forced the Fox News debate to crumble, and it was never held. 

Cruz laid the responsibility partly at the feet of the media and threw in a barb at Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE

“Our friends in the media seem perfectly content with not having debates. I don’t recall seeing on Fox News a debate countdown, '41 days and counting since the last debate,’ ” he said.

There have been a dozen GOP debates so far in the cycle. Several have attracted blockbuster ratings for the networks televising them.

Cruz also compared Trump unfavorably with Democrats.

“Why is it that [Democratic presidential candidates] Hillary Clinton and Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Sanders on Cheney drama: GOP is an 'anti-democratic cult' MORE respect the voters more than Donald Trump? Hillary and Bernie had a debate. They are scheduling another one. What does it say [that] Hillary Clinton, the embodiment of imperial Washington arrogance, is more willing to submit to the voters and appear to debate than Donald Trump?”