Trump to Skip 4th GOP Debate, Speak at Iowa Town Hall and Florida Fundraiser Instead

The former president, who far outdistances his Republican challengers in opinion polls, has called the debates a waste of time and energy.
Trump to Skip 4th GOP Debate, Speak at Iowa Town Hall and Florida Fundraiser Instead
Former President and 2024 Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at a Team Trump Iowa Commit to Caucus event in Maquoketa, Iowa, on Sept. 20, 2023. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)
Janice Hisle

For the fourth time this campaign season, former President Donald Trump will be otherwise occupied while his Republican challengers trade barbs in a televised debate.

But this time there is a twist. Previously, the former president held high-profile events that directly competed for attention with the Republican National Committee-sanctioned debate.

Instead, when the other candidates face off at the University of Alabama on Dec. 6, the former president will attend a low-key, private fundraiser in Hallandale Beach, Florida, a source close to the Trump campaign confirmed to The Epoch Times on Dec. 1.
Three real estate developers are hosting President Trump’s closed-door “end-of-year” reception, Florida outlet WPLG-TV reported, adding that proceeds will benefit MAGA Inc. That “Super PAC,” or political action committee, is named after the former president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” MAGA Inc.’s website says the group’s mission is “to ensure a second Trump administration and to promote America First candidates.”

The preceding day, Dec. 5., President Trump is scheduled to appear in a town hall forum with Fox News personality Sean Hannity in Davenport, Iowa.

Although the discussion is set to begin at 4 p.m. Central Time, it will be videotaped and then nationally broadcast several hours later, from 9 to 10 p.m. Eastern, on the Fox News Channel. Mr. Hannity announced the event on Dec. 1, adding that free tickets were being offered.
The Davenport town hall comes on the heels of an unusual debate that Mr. Hannity moderated between California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and Republican presidential hopeful, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

During that Nov. 30 event, Mr. Newsom and Mr. DeSantis debated which state was faring better based on the policies they implemented.

Many people believe that Mr. Newsom might run for president someday or could even replace the current Democrat president, Joe Biden, who is 81 years old and has been criticized for appearing disoriented.

While Mr. Newsom defended Mr. Biden’s record, Mr. DeSantis argued that the nation would benefit more from a new Republican president: him. But he is running a distant second behind President Trump in virtually all opinion polls, as are his fellow Republican challengers.

Mr. Hannity and President Trump previously appeared together at another town hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on  July 18. A packed house cheered for the former president when he vowed to fight the criminal charges that state and federal officials were in the midst of filing against him. He now faces four indictments including 91 criminal charges; he has denied any wrongdoing and has called the cases “political persecutions.”

The upcoming Iowa town hall closely follows two other Iowa events featuring the former president.

On Dec. 2, President Trump is set to speak at back-to-back “commit to caucus” events in Ankeny, Iowa, followed by another in Cedar Rapids.

He and several of his Republican rivals have ramped up their campaigns in the Hawkeye State, which will hold the first-in-nation Republican primary contest on Jan. 15.

Iowa chooses its preferred presidential candidates at precinct-level gatherings called caucuses, run by political parties’ volunteers rather than by state officials.

At his Iowa rallies, President Trump’s volunteers ask attendees to sign cards committing to support him at their local caucus meetings.

Janice Hisle reports on former President Donald Trump's campaign for the 2024 general election ballot and related issues. Before joining The Epoch Times, she worked for more than two decades as a reporter for newspapers in Ohio and authored several books. She is a graduate of Kent State University's journalism program. You can reach Janice at: [email protected]