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Trump Rules Out Presidential Debate With Sanders

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Trump Rules Out Presidential Debate With Sanders

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump jokes about how difficult he says it is for him to listen to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's voice, as he holds a rally with supporters in Fresno, California, U.S. May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday ruled out a one-on-one debate with second-place Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders, killing off a potentially high-ratings television spectacle.

The suggested debate would have sidelined likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton but given Sanders a huge platform ahead of California’s June 7 primary.

A day after saying he would welcome a debate with Sanders, Trump called the idea “inappropriate” because as the Republican presumptive nominee he should only face the Democrats’ final choice.

“I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton,” Trump said in a statement.

Sanders’ campaign has been aggressively advocating for a debate with Trump after the idea was raised during an appearance by the New York billionaire on a talk show this week.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, expressed disappointment on Friday.

“I heard that he was going to debate me, then I heard that he was not going to debate me, then I heard that he was going to debate me. Now you’re telling me that he is not going to debate me. Well, you know, I hope that he changes his mind again,” Sanders said in a video clip posted on an ABC News Twitter account.

Trump suggested broadcast networks were unwilling to go along with his demand that at least $10 million raised from the encounter be donated to charity.

“I’d love to debate Bernie,” he told a rally in Fresno, California. “But the networks want to keep the money for themselves.”

Sanders is trailing Clinton in the race to secure their party’s nomination. Opinion polls show he is slicing into Clinton’s lead in California.

Clinton has shown no interest in debating Sanders before the California primary, which will be part of a final slate of nominating contests. It is possible she will clinch the nomination by winning New Jersey earlier that day, making the outcome in California superfluous.

The former U.S. secretary of state has said she is looking forward to debating Trump later this year ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

Clinton leads Trump by 4 percentage points in the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, with their positions with voters basically unchanged since Trump’s support surged two weeks ago. Democrats nationally remain evenly split between Clinton and Sanders.


Reporting by Emily Stephenson in Fresno; Additional reporting by Alana Wise in Washington and Chris Kahn in New York; Writing by James Oliphant; Editing by Alistair Bell

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump jokes about how difficult he says it is for him to listen to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s voice, as he holds a rally with supporters in Fresno, California, U.S. May 27, 2016.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst



  1. Dominick Vila May 28, 2016

    Could it be that Sanders does not bleed enough, or is it because Bernie does not know enough about great brains, other great organs, or how to make the greatest armed forces in the world great again? I am sure there has to be a good reason for the most erudite charlatan in American presidential history to decline the opportunity to show us his incredible debating skills.

    1. JohnJ May 28, 2016

      Dominick Vila: Another well-known Clinton punk.

      1. Independent1 May 28, 2016

        I’m not certain Dominick is actually downing Bernie, but are some of you Bernie nuts aware that some of us don’t think Bernie is electable or could even follow through on what he’s campaigning on?? It’s not a matter of disagreeing with Bernie’s message – it’s we’re very leary of Bernie because he’s spent over 40 years in politics and in that time accomplished essentially very little. So how is he now going to suddenly start getting things accomplished?? Bernie does not know how to negotiate!!

        And are you aware that when pinned down on several occasions with respect to providing details on how he would accomplished some of his campaign promises, Bernie made it clear he has not very thoroughly thought out a lot of what he’s proposing to do.

        And are you aware that 40 years ago Bernie was the a key member in a socialist worker’s party that was modelled after a communist?? Trotsky?

        And that during the Iran hostage crises, he was actually pushing hard for our government to recognize fully the revolutionary government of Iran and the communist government of Cuba and Guatemala.
        And that shortly there after he was the head of a libertarian party that was pushing hard for the elimination of America’s federal armies – recommending that it be abolished and America depend on the Coast Guard for it’s national defense and bring back militias to protect the states against government tyranny??

        And even when he was elected to Congress he constantly fought to reduce our military spending by at least 50% ; drastically reducing the capability of our armies??

        Like I said, if Bernie is nominated, Trump is going to have a field day turning Bernie into a full fledged communist.

        1. charleo1 May 30, 2016

          As Hillary has needed for the last six months to put the Burnie revolution to rest. Any ideas as to why she hasn’t brought out at least some parts of that?

      2. Dominick Vila May 29, 2016

        IMO Hillary is the most qualified candidate running for President, but she lacks charisma, is a lousy campaigner, and extremely vulnerable.

        1. Independent1 May 30, 2016

          I don’t have TV so I don’t get to see Hillary doing much campaigning; so I can’t relate to your last comments there about her being a ‘lousy campaigner’. but I did happen to catch her NY primary victory speech on my car radio and she sure sounded like a really good campaigner then – not only with her presentation but with what she said.

          Here’s what I especially liked:

          I applaud Sen. Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving. Greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality, and I know together we will get that done. Because whether you support Sen. Sanders, or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us.

          We all agree that wages are too low, and inequality is too high. That Wall Street can never be allowed again to threaten Main Street, and we should expand Social Security, not cut or privatize it. We Democrats agree that college should be affordable to all. Student debt shouldn’t hold anyone back. We Democrats agree that every single agreement should have good and quality affordable healthcare.

          We agree that our next president must keep our country safe. Keep our troops out of another ground war in the Middle East. And we Democrats agree that climate change is an urgent threat, and it requires an aggressive response that can make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st Century.

          And we Democrats agree on defending all of our rights, civil rights, and voting rights, workers rights, and women’s rights, LGBT rights, and rights for people with disabilities. So in this election, we will have to stand together and work hard to prevail against candidates on other side who threaten all those rights and pit Americans against each other.


          How could any progressive not like what she said there???

          1. Dominick Vila May 30, 2016

            Maybe I was too harsh. I agree with everything she said in that speech, and I was very impressed with the way she spoke during a recent interview on CNN. Unfortunately, when she is on the stump, she is not very inspiring, to put it mildly. I voted for her in the primaries, and I plan to vote for her in November. Mostly, because she is the most qualified and experienced candidate running, and because most of the negative claims made against her have proven to be politically motivated.

          2. Independent1 May 30, 2016

            Hillary may not be the most charismatic and awe inspiring campaigner, but she gets things done that need to be done where many people fail.

            Here’s an article that I resurrected from my archives on her time as Secretary of State that brings some of that: Get things done – out; not sure where I got it.

            Hillary has accomplished something no SOS in the previous 50 years accomplished – she kept America from being in the middle of what could have been numerous flare-ups around the world – the past 5 years have been the 1st time in 5 decades, that America hasn’t had troops/Americans killed overseas, or being held as hostages or in the middle of some heated conflict that weren’t involved in some form of wind down war mode (Iraq and Afghanistan are both wind down wars started by Bush).

            From JFK to Bush jr. (aside maybe for Ford), America has stuck its nose into foreign events which ended up with soldiers dying – JFK, LBJ & Nixon were actively involved in Vietnam, Carter really wasn’t actively in a war but got into the Iran hostage mess; 241 Marines died in a bombing that Reagan put in harms way in Lebanon, Soldiers died under Bush Sr. in his Gulf War, Clinton had the USS Cole bombing with over 300 killed and of course Bush Jr had 9/11 and 2 wars he started where thousands of Americans died – And although many of the SOSs under all these presidents were in the news a lot with supposedly high profile accomplishments, much of what they supposedly accomplished was short lived and it was only a matter of months before everything was back the way it started.

            Although Hillary wasn’t in the news a lot with respect to trying to negotiate peace between some foreign adversaries, the last 5 years have been different during Hillary’s tenure – aside from the wind down wars I mentioned, they’ve been the safest 5 years for Americans overseas for at least the last 50 years – 2 consulate/embassy attacks with 4 lives lost; compared to much higher lost lives during at least the previous 4 presidencies: 14 attacks under Bush Jr. on the homeland and abroad with over 3,100 being killed; 6 attacks under Clinton with more than 400 dying, 12 attacks under Bush Sr. with more than 60 killed and 7 attacks under Reagan with more than 60 killed not including the 241 Marines. There’s something to be said for ‘low-key’ diiplomacy. (I’m taking some of the following from Wikipedia.)

            Hillary expanded by far the State Department’s involvement in global economics and diplomacy through direct interaction between the U.S. and other governments. In pursuing this objective Hillary was by far the most traveled SOS in American history, visiting 112 countries. During those travels and visits, Hillary repaired numerous rifts between the U.S. and other countries that had been created by the heavy handed diplomacy of the Bush Administration. Such that today, America has much better relations with virtually all it’s close allies than it has had in decades (barring the rifts created by the recent NSA spying revelations which Hillary had nothing to do with.)

            Her travels and the initiatives she pursued were well received by countries around the globe and greatly improved the understanding of Americans by peoples around the world.
            Just think, had Rice still been SOS, it’s quite likely that America would have been in the middle of the conflicts in Egypt, Libya and Syria. When is the last time you can remember Israel and the Palistinians being non-Stop in the news? It’s been years!

            Hillary set a course for the State Department to pursue the concept of America leading through “civilian power”, as being a cost effective way for responding to international challenges and to defuse crises. (Rather than America sticking its nose in where it really isn’t needed.)

            It was Hillary’s last-minute intervention in brokering a truce that allowed for the signing of a historic pact between the Turkish and Armenians that established diplomatic relations between these countries and opened their borders between the two who had been hostile to each other for decades

            Hillary was the 1st SOS to clearly define and have the State Department use the internet as a viable means of maintaining diplomacy for America’s foreign policy initiatives.

          3. Dominick Vila May 31, 2016

            Excellent post. Thank you! The only thing I would add is Hillary’s promotion of women rights in parts of the world where such a thing is not even a concept the native populations would entertain.
            Her qualifications, experience, and accomplishments are indisputable; regardless of the predictable attacks directed at her by the GOP, and Trump’s idea of greatness.

  2. stcroixcarp May 28, 2016

    Trump is afraid that Bernie or Hillary would make America smart again.

  3. karen57457356 May 28, 2016

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  4. FT66 May 28, 2016

    Sanders must stop embarrassing himself. Before New York contest he instisted he must debate Hillary. It was: the time was not suitable, date not OK, why on weekend when everyone is busy and not watching us, and on and on. He finally got the debate and ended up losing there. He might have thought, whats the use of debating Trump? Under what capacity? Trump has already clinched the number. How the debate would have helped him? Now, Sanders looks like a lost kid in the desert not knowing where to go or what to do. This comfirms he might not be aware of what he has been doing. It is all about touch this, touch that and see what works for him. Why invite embarrassment all the times Sanders?

    1. A_Real_Einstein May 28, 2016

      Trump is the one who dropped out. Trump is afraid of Bernie and should be. Bernie would have mopped the floor with Trump. That would have really made it difficult for the Superdelagates to not switch to Bernie. Bernie would have won the debate, won CA and Hillary would be sucking wind and apologizing about emails and putting the nations security at risk. Trump and the GOP want nothing to do with Sanders and they are smart. They understand how to read the polls and that independent voters determine the results of Presidential elections. An insider like Hillary cannot win in this outsider cycle. Trump will kill her with his crooked Hillary routine. In that matchup he looks like the candidate of the people.

      1. FT66 May 28, 2016

        Einstein, Super Delegates don’t support the candidate because of winning debates.They see whether a candidate has:
        1. know-how of doing the job
        2. experience
        3. coalition which will ensure the winning during Gen.Election
        4. whether has won big states like: New York, Pennsylvania, Florida,Ohio that will be important during Gen.Election
        They don’t look which candidate is leading in a match-up with the opposite side, as GE (General Election) is not won by popular votes only, there is also Electoral Votes.

        1. A_Real_Einstein May 28, 2016

          Superdelegates are in place to make sure that our nominee is the most electable in the GENERAL election. Bernie destroys Trump in the swing states in the polls, Hillary not so much. Both parties will find that their base will x coalesce around their nominee. So the election is decided by independent mostly white voters. Bernie is hugely popular with white independent voters and beats Trump by double digits with this group. Hillary has a 12 point deficit with Trump and is behind him with white males by more than 20. The more the public gets exposed to Bernie the more popular he becomes. Hillary support is collapsing by the minute.

          1. Independent1 May 30, 2016

            “Bernie destroys Trump in the swing states in the polls, Hillary not so much.”

            Only because the GOP propaganda machine hasn’t gotten into high gear to destroy Bernie’s credibility like it has been doing to Hillary for more than 2 decades.

          2. A_Real_Einstein May 30, 2016

            GOP attacks don’t work on Bernie yet are very effective on Hillary. The independent voters love Bernie and hate Hillary and that is not going to change. Bernie’s message of a corrupt campaign finance system that keeps in place a rigged economy resonates with all voters even white working class Republicans. In the meantime Hillary is a easy target with her emails,Clinton Foundation payments and secretive speeches given to Wall St. Nominating Hillary is suicide.

          3. Independent1 May 30, 2016

            “GOP attacks don’t work on Bernie” Total hogwash!!

            The GOP hasn’t started throwing Bernie’s radical past in his face yet!!
            That he was a quasi communist.
            That he wanted to eliminate our federal army.
            That he was a conscientious objector (and who would want one of those as commander and chief)??
            And on and on – and there is much more bad, like trying to eliminate the CIA.

            The GOP hasn’t even gotten started on Bernie yet because they want him to win the nomination so they can then DESTROY HIS CHARACTER COMPLETELY!!!!!!

          4. A_Real_Einstein May 30, 2016

            None of that has worked and it won’t in the future. Independent voters love Bernie that is not going to change. His favorables are huge and his message resinates. Trump and the GOP are afraid of him and they should be.

          5. Independent1 May 30, 2016

            It hasn’t worked because the onslaught of GOP propaganda about Bernie hasn’t started yet – you’re a pathological lying fool!!!

    2. JohnJ May 28, 2016

      Get lost corporate Democrat supporter.

    3. RobertCHastings May 28, 2016

      Trump was the one who “suggested” the debate with Bernie, and the one who set the conditions for the networks. For Sanders, the debate, were it to actually come off, would be a win-win. Trump has already stated that he expects he would be soundly beaten by Sanders in a debate (which is quite likely true) and, as Sanders APPEARS to be trailing Hillary, how would this come across as an embarrassment for Sanders? That the front runner for the Republicans feels comfortable debating the Democrat who is losing to the presumed Democratic winner, this is a coup for Sanders and a serious blunder for Trump. That Hillary (and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) refuses to have another debate with Sanders may prove to be her downfall.

  5. notafoxfan May 28, 2016

    the “debate” idea came out of Donald trumps mouth,not Bernie sanders,so its not bernie who should be embarrassed…i think some are confused about who brought up the idea..as usual however,trump opened his mouth and inserted his foot and then changed his mind on what he said..i do believe its because sanders might very well show how truly unknowledgeable trump is on almost every issue..when the proposed upcoming debate occurs between he and Hillary Clinton,the gloves will be off ..

  6. I of John May 31, 2016

    Looks like we know who won the game of chicken and it wasn’t the Donald. Trump is afraid of a debate drubbing from Bernie. He should be more afraid of Hillary though.


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