Donald Trump issues debate “report card” on GOP rivals


Former President Donald Trump has issued a “report card” for his 2024 presidential election rivals after watching a Republican primary debate that he skipped.

Trump spoke at a non-union auto parts manufacturing company in Michigan instead of attending the debate in California on Wednesday. In a post to Truth Social on Thursday, Trump said that he had watched the debate and evaluated the performances of each candidate, giving only three out of seven positive reviews.

The former president, who also opted out of the first GOP debate last month, additionally argued that the event was “a complete waste of time” due to his commanding lead in polls. He urged the Republican National Committee (RNC) to “end” the series of debates, before offering his assessment of the candidates.

Donald Trump GOP Primary Debate Report Card
Former President Donald Trump is pictured Wednesday before a speech in Clinton Township, Michigan. Trump, who delivered the speech instead of taking part in the second GOP debate for the 2024 presidential election, on Thursday offered a “report card” for his Republican opponents.
Scott Olson

“I’m up 56 Points, so the Debates would seem to be a complete waste of time. I’m also up 10 on Crooked Joe! What is the RNC doing?” Trump wrote. “They should be fighting against Election Interference & the Pennsylvania Voter Registration Scam. The Debates should be ENDED, BAD for the Republican Party! I was in Michigan last night with Autoworkers & others.”

Newsweek reached out for comment to the RNC via email on Thursday night.

Trump then shared his “report card.” He offered insults for former Vice President Mike Pence, ex-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The ex-president was more charitable toward North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

“Watched Debate = REPORT CARD: Doug Burgum did a very good job, solid & smart!” Trump wrote. “Sloppy Chris Christie was a DISASTER, A TRUMP DERANGED LUNATIC! Nikki ‘Birdbrain’ Haley was exposed for her caustic DISLOYALTY & LIES about the Republican Party, and me. Doesn’t have what it takes, NEVER DID!”

“Lyin’ Mike Pence has lost a lot of his energy,” he continued. “Very flat, needs me badly! Actually, quite sad to watch, but he’ll get better. Too much J-6! Tim Scott stepped it up. Wonderful guy. Looking forward to getting his Endorsement! Vivek said I was a great President. Thank you. Good Job! Ron DeSanctimonious had a bad night. He can feel the end is near. Dropping like a rock!”

During his speech in Michigan just before the debate on Wednesday, Trump suggested that none of the seven candidates who took part in the event would be considered as his 2024 running mate. Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung later confirmed to Newsweek that the candidates would not be considered.

Republicans who have been floated as Trump’s potential pick for vice president without being ruled out include former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

Trump continues to hold a seemingly insurmountable lead in the GOP primary despite this year facing 91 felony counts across four separate criminal indictments and being found liable for business fraud in civil court.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to each of the criminal charges and claims that all of his legal troubles amount to “election interference” and are the result of a “witch hunt” by Democrats.


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