President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE on Wednesday said he would debate the eventual Democratic presidential nominee, putting to rest, at least temporarily, questions about whether he would take part in general election debates.
"Yeah, sure. I look forward to it, actually," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office when asked if he would debate whoever won the Democratic nomination.
The president said it appeared Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.) was emerging as the front-runner in the Democratic primary, following up a strong finish in Iowa by narrowly winning the New Hampshire primary.
Trump in December chastised the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonpartisan group that organizes the debates every four years. He claimed without evidence that the commission is "stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers."
The critical tweet raised questions about whether Trump would participate in the debates or whether he would skirt the formal commission in search of an alternative.
The Commission on Presidential Debates has already announced the dates and locations for three general election debates in 2020, plus one vice presidential debate. The first presidential debate is slated for Sept. 29.
While Trump skipped a GOP primary debate in the 2016 race, he participated in all three debates in the general election against Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE. Polls after each general election debate found voters saying Clinton performed better.