Donald Trump initially welcomed the idea of debating Bernie Sanders but then put in a condition saying that he would do so only if the debate sponsors would put up $10 million to be given to charity. That ploy seemed to be designed to avoid him carrying through on his promise. Then Richie Hecker, chairman and CEO of a tech company called Traction and Scale, came forward and made just such an offer.
But Trump has again backed off from his promise, prompting ridicule on Twitter with the hashtag #ChickenTrump.
When Sanders was told that Trump had reneged, he ridiculed him, asking him why he was so afraid to debate the important issues that faced the nation. Watch Sanders.
I have heard critics suggest that Sanders should not do this debate because it will only help Trump. As I have said many times before, making elections into an exclusive focus on winning and losing is a mistake. At their best, elections should serve to provide enlightenment on important issues and give the public a wide range of views. And there is no better time that during a presidential election which is when most people are paying attention. A debate between Trump and Sanders would draw a huge audience and provide sharply contrasting views, between the humane, science-based, democratic socialist views of Sanders and the bombastic, climate-change denying, xenophobic, sexist, and incoherent views of Trump. Trump’s reversal on debating Sanders may be due to a belated realization by him that Sanders cannot be rolled over the way he did with his Republican rivals and that he would not come out well.
Sanders had an excellent interview with Bill Maher about the difficulty of dealing with someone who is chronically dishonest like Trump who does not seem to feel bound by anything he says.