Trump likely agrees to debate in order to court blue collar Democrats.
In what could be a risky move, Republican presidential contender and billionaire mogul Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday evening on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that he is accepting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ challenge to a one-on-one debate before the June 7 California primary as long as the money raised for the event goes to charity.
Sanders tweeted “game on” in response to the news.
Sanders, whose invite to opponent Hillary Clinton for a debate in California was quickly denied, recently asserted that Clinton’s refusal to engage in a discussion on “the major crises we face” was “a little bit insulting.”
It is worth noting that multiple sources have told CBS News that Trump was only joking about debating Sanders and “it will never happen.”
Hillary has yet to comment on the possibility of a Sanders/Trump showdown nor has her campaign indicated that she would jump into the mix should the prospect of a debate between the two candidates become a reality.
The hashtag #BernieTrumpDebate ended up trending on Twitter Thursday morning following Trump’s interview with Kimmel.
On one hand, this could be an opportunity for the real estate mogul to court disgruntled Sanders supporters who view Clinton unfavorably and are upset about the rigged DNC system. On the other – it could be a trap by the Sanders camp and other progressive operatives to back Trump into a corner and hammer him on his more polarizing policies (Muslim ban, the wall).
Far-left liberal media outlet The Young Turks’ own Cenk Ugyrk who believes Trump is a “fascist” confirmed today that he could possibly moderate the debate.
We will keep a close eye on this situation as it develops.
Update 4PM ET: It looks like the Trump campaign has confirmed to multiple media outlets that the ordeal on Jimmy Kimmel was a joke and that no debate will actually take place in California:
As entertaining as a standoff between the two true outsider candidates may have been however, Time Magazine threw water on the rumors Thursday reporting comments that “Trump was joking on the show, and sources confirmed to Time that no debate will occur.”
A Trump aide further confirmed to The Guardian that the billionaire “was joking and had no intention to actually debate Sanders.”
Trump’s refusal was likely a good move. As The Guardian points out a debate would only help Sanders’ ailing campaign, as Trump has annihilated his Republican competitors.
“A debate during the remainder of the primary season would indeed serve as more beneficial to Sanders, offering him another public platform to make his case in what has been a grueling contest against Clinton.”
According to a tweet sent by Trump last night, he’s perfectly happy watching the Democrat bloodbath from the sidelines. Source