Prior to departing the White House for North Carolina on Monday, Trump spoke to the press about the Republican parties in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina canceling the 2020 GOP primaries in their states.
“I don’t even know who they are,” said Trump of former Reps. Mark Sanford (S.C.), Joe Walsh (Ill.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who have each announced campaigns against him.
“I would say this: They’re all at less than 1%. I guess it’s a publicity stunt,” he continued.
Trump added: “To be honest, I’m not looking to give them any credibility. They have no credibility.”
"I don't even know who they are," President Trump says when asked if he's willing to debate his challengers in the Republican primary and then proceeds to criticize their backgrounds."To be honest, I'm not willing to give them any credibility," he adds https://t.co/iqp8uNP8Vf pic.twitter.com/OJQP1jaXRO
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 9, 2019
The New York Times reported on Friday that three people familiar with the GOP’s plans in the aforementioned states would move to cancel the Republican primaries to deprive “Trump’s long-shot challengers of chances to build support.”
As of Monday, all four states had canceled their contests.
The president later demonstrated that he did, in fact, know who the candidates are, and also called Sanford, Walsh and Weld a “laughingstock” and said states don’t “want to waste their money” on them.
Despite the canceled primaries, Walsh and Weld seem undeterred. Both have shared their thoughts about the cancellations on social media.
Walsh called the news “f***ing un-American,” while Weld addressed Trump directly and said: “You can run but you cannot hide.”
This isn’t “disappointing.” It’s not “unfortunate.” It’s not “regrettable.”It’s f***ing un-American. It’s undemocratic. It’s wrong. It’s what they do in places like Russia and China. Not here.Denying Americans the right to vote in order to protect Donald Trump? Outrageous. https://t.co/NF64F8Pzt8
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) September 7, 2019
Canceled primaries? What are you afraid of, Mr. No-Show? Intelligent, experienced, honest and decent competitors? Now more than ever, @realDonaldTrump, you can run but you cannot hide. #LetTheGamesBegin
— Gov. Bill Weld (@GovBillWeld) September 8, 2019 Download REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus