Cruz: Trump ducking debates
© Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Trump endorses Cornyn for reelection as O'Rourke mulls challenge O’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate MORE is accusing Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 ClintonHillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring 4 ways Hillary looms over the 2020 race Hillary Clinton met with Biden, Klobuchar to talk 2020: report 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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersKamala Harris: Trump administration ‘targeting’ California for political purposes Harry Reid says he won’t make 2020 endorsement until after Nevada caucus Gillibrand to appear on Fox News Monday night 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?”