GOP Debates: Will Trump Be a No-Show?

Yesterday I wrote about Donald Trump's open letter to CNN President Jeff Zuker asking him to donate the profits from the upcoming GOP debates to "various VETERANS groups" of Trump's choosing. I also suggested a response that Mr. Zucker might want to send to him.

Trump previously asserted, "I'm going to do the debate, but I want $10 million for charity." He added, "Otherwise I'm not going to the debate. And honestly, I think they'd pay me."

Could Trump be looking for an excuse not to participate? Maybe he doesn't appreciate hard questions.

Some would conclude that he sounded a bit confused about foreign policy issues in a recent interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt.

The following day he reportedly called Hewitt a "third-rate radio announcer." Hewitt's questions certainly were first-rate, given that Trump wants to be commander-in-chief.

As a pageant promoter, Trump knows that beauty contestants sometimes have trouble responding to what they perceive to be difficult questions.

It may be recalled that Trump was also displeased in the first debate when Megyn Kelly of Fox News asked about him reportedly calling some women "fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals," or him telling a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice that it would be a "pretty picture. You dropping to your knees."

Trump's now infamous post-debate review of Ms. Kelly included this gem, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes; blood coming out of her wherever."

Trump has nothing to gain from participating in future debates. He has a solid lead over the other GOP candidates, and if he falters in any debate he could look more foolish and lose ground. On the other hand, his behavior so far seems to have only helped his poll numbers, which continue to rise. And they called Ronald Reagan "Teflon."

Trump often does media interviews by telephone. Maybe he can simply phone in his participation in the debates, reserving his comments until they are over. He can fight his war of words on Twitter and other outlets and never need to leave the comforts of Trump Towers.

The other Republican contenders would be relieved if Trump were a no-show. They could strut their stuff without any bantam rooster doing all of the crowing.