Fox News cancelled a Republican presidential debate for next week after Donald Trump and John Kasich backed out. Fox News confirmed the cancellation on Wednesday.
Donald Trump was the first candidate to say he wouldn’t participate in the Salt Lake City debate, according to CNN Money. The Republican front-runner stated on Fox News Wednesday morning that he will speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on March 21.
Trump claimed he only recently found out about the debate and was more interested in the speech than the debate. He told Fox & Friends, “I’m making a major speech in front of a very important group of people.” Trump added that he would consider future debates though he made no commitment to attend them.
The candidate added, “I think we’ve had enough debates. How many times can you answer the same question?”
Business Insider reports that John Kasich’s campaign backed out of the Fox News debate after hearing Trump would not attend. The campaign added that Kasich would reconsider if Trump did.
In a statement announcing the cancelled Republican debate, Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente stated, “This morning, Donald Trump announced he would not be participating in the debate. Shortly afterward, John Kasich’s campaign announced that without Trump at the debate, Kasich would not participate.”
Clemente added, “Ted Cruz has expressed a willingness to debate Trump or Kasich — or both. But obviously, there needs to be more than one participant. So the Salt Lake City debate is cancelled.”
The Fox News debate was set for March 21 and was slated as the first presidential debate ever to be held in Utah. The debate’s moderators would have been Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace. If the Republican contest continues through April, the RNC has allowed for a potential 14th debate to take place in New York City.