GOP Candidates Running Against Trump Criticize Four States That Have Canceled Primaries
Weeks ahead of the GOP primary debate hosted by Business Insider, President Trump’s three challengers — Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh and Bill Weld — wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that criticized the four states that have canceled their primaries and caucuses in anticipation of Trump winning the party ticket.
“Let us each take our case to the public,” the three candidates argued in their op-ed. “The saying ‘may the best man win’ is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people.”
Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas have all canceled their primaries and caucuses and the incumbent President has belittled his opponents and their chances to beat him.
Historically, primary challengers to an incumbent president have not won the party’s nomination, but in most of these instances, the incumbent has also not won the general election.
Even though all three of Trump’s opponents have recognized just how difficult it will be to win the GOP ticket for 2020, they are hoping to influence a significant change to the party.
Former conservative radio talk show host Joe Walsh even went as far to call the Republican Party a “cult” based on how those in it have worshiped Trump as their leader.
Joe Walsh: “I’ve given up on the Republican Party. The Republican Party is a cult. They no longer stand for ideas. The Republican Party right now is all about washing their leader’s feet every day.” pic.twitter.com/rsEsDRO5aI
— The Hill (@thehill) September 16, 2019
Sanford has claimed that the Republican Party is facing an identity crisis and that a conversation about “what it means to be a Republican” needs to be had.
According to the three candidates, the GOPs’ decisions to cancel their nominating contests is a “critical mistake.”
“Millions of voters looking for a conservative alternative to the status quo deserve a chance to hear alternate ideas aired on the national stage,” they wrote.
“If we believe our party represents the best hope for the United States’ future, let us take our message to the public and prove we are right.”
In Baltimore, a city he called “a disgusting, rat & rodent infested mess,” Donald Trump announced: “Whether you like me or not, it doesn’t matter. You have to elect me; you have no choice.” Actually, @realDonaldTrump, in America, we DO have a choice, whether YOU like it or not.
— Gov. Bill Weld (@GovBillWeld) September 13, 2019
Drew McKissick, the chairman of the South Carolina GOP, said in a statement that the decision to cancel primaries and caucuses was so they could save taxpayers over $1.2 million. He also said the South Carolina GOP believes Trump and his administration “have delivered” since 2016.
“As the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, my job is to ensure not only President Trump’s victory in Nevada, but also to elect more Republicans down the ballot,” Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald said according to a Sept. 9 news release.
“It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte.”
Despite the four states’ decisions to cancel their nominating contests, the first GOP presidential primary debate will be held on Sept. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST and will be live streamed on Business Insider Today’s Facebook Watch page.
All four GOP candidates were invited to New York City to participate, but only Walsh and Weld will be appearing.
A spokesperson from Sanford’s campaign told The Western Journal that the former South Carolina Congressman is unable to attend due to “prior commitments.”
On Sept. 9, Trump said he wouldn’t debate his GOP challengers due to their low poll numbers, calling their campaigns a “publicity stunt,” according to The Hill.
Sanford, Walsh and Weld criticized Trump’s unwillingness to debate them in a public forum, referring to him as “weak” and “a coward.”
Even though the first debate is scheduled for Sept. 24, the three GOP challengers are concerned that conservative voters won’t be able to hear other points of view within the party, limiting their choice to a leader whom they have deemed unfit for the role.
“In the United States, citizens choose their leaders,” they wrote. “Let those voices be heard.”
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