Trump campaign cuts back on debate surrogate presence as polling climbs
Former President Donald Trump's campaign is shifting its focus from the second Republican debate to Michigan and the general election.
Former President Donald Trump's campaign is shifting its focus away from the second Republican debate and instead directing its efforts towards Michigan and the upcoming general election. In the previous debate, Trump's supporters and campaign staff were present in the spin room alongside surrogates for the other candidates. Although Trump himself did not attend the debate, he conducted an interview with Tucker Carlson before it began.
There were concerns that Trump's decision to skip the debate would negatively impact his standing with Republican voters. However, his polling lead over his competitors has only grown since the debate.
For the second debate, the Trump campaign plans to have a smaller presence. Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, senior Trump advisor Chris LaCivita, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kevin Cabrera will be the surrogates representing Trump. In the previous debate, Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., and several Republican representatives were present, along with LaCivita, Trump senior adviser Jason Miller, and Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung.
The campaign's main focus this time is Michigan. Just before the debate, Trump will address current and former members of the United Auto Workers union, who are currently on strike against major automakers. This shift in focus signifies a move from campaigning against primary opponents to campaigning against President Joe Biden. Trump's recent remarks on abortion also reflect this transition, as he now emphasizes leaving the decision to the states and highlights the complexity of the issue. The campaign is less interested in attacking primary opponents and more focused on framing the battle as between Biden and Trump.
The debate will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, with seven candidates on stage, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, Gov. Doug Burgum, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Trump's remarks to Michigan workers are scheduled for 8 p.m., an hour before the debate begins.