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    Trump Will Skip Last Republican Debate Before Iowa Vote

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he leaves a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, Jan. 26, 2016.
    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he leaves a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, Jan. 26, 2016.
    Ken Bredemeier

    Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, says he is boycotting the last candidates' debate before next week's first election contest in the Midwest farm state of Iowa.

    Trump, the billionaire real estate developer who has surged to the top in surveys of Republican voters, said he will skip Thursday's debate, just four days before the Iowa party caucuses because he does not feel he would be treated fairly by one of the moderators, Megyn Kelly of Fox News.

    FOX News moderators Megyn Kelly, right, listens as Chris Wallace beings introductions during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.
    FOX News moderators Megyn Kelly, right, listens as Chris Wallace beings introductions during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.

    Feud with Fox reporter

    The flamboyant Trump, a political novice, has been feuding with Kelly since August, when, during a debate, Kelly asked Trump to explain why he had made denigrating comments about women over the years. In the days that followed, Trump suggested that Kelly was menstruating while moderating the debate, drawing the ire of many Republicans and Democrats, women and men alike.

    In the lead-up to Thursday's debate and the first-in-the-nation Iowa vote, Trump called for Fox to drop Kelly from the debate stage, but the network said it would not bow to his demand and that he would be treated fairly.

    On Tuesday, in the hours before he dropped out of the debate, Trump said that a “wise guy press release” from the network mocking him was inappropriately antagonistic and childish.

    Fox, in a tongue-in-cheek statement, said network officials “had learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah [Iran's Supreme Leader] and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president.”

    Separate event planned

    Instead of appearing on the debate stage, Trump said he would hold a separate campaign event to raise money for wounded U.S. veterans.

    With the unpredictable Trump at the center of attention, the Republican presidential debates have become must-see television for millions of people in the United States.

    By dropping out of Thursday's event, the 69-year-old Trump, a longtime New York developer, casino magnate and former reality television show host, ensures he will still be at the forefront of political analysis.

    Whether his supporters or undecided voters in Iowa care about him dropping out is unknown.

    Trump accused Fox and other networks that have carried the Republican debates of taking advantage of him by boosting their advertising rates for the half dozen debates that have been held.

    “Why should the networks continue to get rich on the debates?” Trump told reporters Tuesday. "Why do I have to make Fox rich?"

    Unheard of in US politics

    Shunning a high-profile event just days before voters head to the polls is unheard of in U.S. politics.

    While holding a commanding lead in national surveys, Iowa polls show he is locked in a tight contest in the central U.S. state with a conservative firebrand, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who immediately challenged Trump to a head-to-head debate.

    Cruz likened Trump to the cartoon figure Donald Duck for spurning the debate, calling him "Ducking Donald."

    Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 28, 2016 10:09 AM
    I switched back and forth between Fox and CNN last night. All they talked about was Trump. Yes he sucked all of the oxygen out of the room and is practically the only topic of discussion. Paul O'Reilly practically begged Trump to show up at the debate in an interview with him aired last night. Trump was polite but made it pretty clear he would not attend. Instead he will hold another event for the benefit of military veterans at the same time. That's the one I'll be watching.

    I'll watch the recap of the debate of the political Lilliputians after its over. Trump shows he can win a fight just by walking away. That's what you get growing up on the streets of New York City although the Bronx where I was born is even tougher than Queens where I grew up. Trump is the kind of President I want to confront the likes of criminals like Vladimir Putin. Trump knows how to use power to his and America's advantage and doesn't shrink from using it, unlike our current President and those other bought and paid for puppets which are all of the other candidates.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 27, 2016 9:36 PM
    Who won the Fox News Republican debate? Why Trump did of course just like always. That's Trump 2, Fox News 0. Care to try again Fox News?

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 27, 2016 3:54 PM
    I think Megan Kelly got by on her looks. It certainly wasn't on her brains.

    by: Lukáš from: Czech Republic
    January 27, 2016 3:14 PM
    Why would being honest and straightforward be of any advantage while dealing with Putin? Do you really believe that Putin has the same qualities? I believe that's dangerous to think so.
    I can't understand why Trump is considered honest anyway. Because he calls McCain "no hero" and then denies it? (Clear lie) Because he says that Kelly had blood coming out of her wherever and then he complains he coudn't finish the sentence? (clear lie). Because he's trying to court religious voters, lying about how much he reads the Bible? Because he's trying to cast himself as the most conservative conservative, solely for political purposes?
    Politically incorrect? What about just plain old being rude? Him opinions aren't condescending? Are we talking about the same man?
    Americans, please... Mr. Trump reminds me of our Eastern European politicians. Coming with unrealistic proposals, deviding the nation for political gain, having no substance, overinflated ego. You can do much better than that.

    by: Nguyễn from: Vegas
    January 27, 2016 2:26 PM
    Without Trump, the debate would be boring.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 27, 2016 11:14 AM
    The political pundits will have a field day politicizing Trumps actions, but Fox news has more to lose and nothing to gain from keeping Megyn Kelly as the moderator, and no matter how outlandish Trumps remarks are, (he has proven to be a leader) that has to be reckoned with, and being honest and straightforward is a desirable asset when dealing with world leaders like Putin or the Ayatollah or anybody else? .. I do believe if Trump draws a redline, it'll be a redline that others better not cross? .. far different than the present day US commander in chief?

    You may not like Trump's candid outlandish spoken opinions, but they are truthful and not condescending in any way, are they? .. Like outspoken Americans from olden days? .. When Americans meant what they said, and said what they meant? .. when redlines and lines drawn in the sand meant what the drawler said they meant? .. lines from a real leader and not a politician?

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