Donald Trump took a lot of heat recently when he said he wouldn’t be attending an event in Iowa next week that many key evangelical leaders will be attending.
Some people said that Trump skipping out on the event was disrespectful toward a voting bloc that he would need to secure the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
There are others, though, who are digging deeper into the situation and are saying that they believe Trump’s decision to avoid the event is actually a very smart play strategically. That’s because if he were to attend the event, he would likely have to face questions on some really hot-button issues such as abortion, and those issues could end up hurting the presumed GOP nominee in the general election against President Joe Biden.
Earlier this week, the CEO of the Family Leader, Bob Vander Plaats, said that Trump told them he wouldn’t be attending their upcoming event, which makes him the only major GOP presidential candidate who won’t be there. Family Leader is an evangelical organization that is anti-abortion.
Trump’s campaign shrugged off the fact that he wouldn’t be showing up to the event, saying it was just a scheduling conflict. But, some people believe Trump is purposefully avoiding it so he doesn’t get clumped into the other GOP candidates.
As the GOP candidate with the huge lead in early polls, Trump’s actions could be seen as a way of making himself stand out from the crowd. Instead of being clumped together with the “other” GOP candidates, he could be trying to just become a separate candidate all on his own.
This would allow him to not have to debate issues such as abortion within his own party ranks. If he were to do that, it would be very likely that Biden – who is the presumptive Democratic nominee – would use those comments against Trump in the General Election in November of 2024.
So, by avoiding events like these, Trump doesn’t have to talk about those subjects and can instead simply attract the other GOP nominees – as well as Biden and Democrats – at will.
Trump has skipped out on other group GOP events already. Just last month, he didn’t attend the “Roast and Ride” event hosted by Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa. It’s one of the biggest events that’s held every year in the early parts of the primary season.
Instead of attending that event, Trump has held much smaller events that are in the “town style” format, whether it be with conservative media outlets like Fox News or traditionally liberal media outlets like CNN. He’s also taken on a lot of speaking engagements that only involve himself.
It certainly does look like the Trump campaign is working very hard to keep him separate from the other GOP candidates, and who can really blame him for doing that?
He’s got a huge lead in polls thus far, so appearing at events with the other GOP candidates can only really hurt his image.