Fox News Channel will host its fourth Republican presidential primary debate March 21 from Salt Lake City. The two-hour debate will be presented live from the Salt Palace Convention Center at 9 PM ET.
That’s the debate Donald Trump last week said he did not know about, adding that he thought – stop me if you’re heard this one before – maybe he was done with debating. The GOP front-runner, at a news conference announcing Ben Carson was endorsing him, was asked if he planned to participate in the March 21 debate, and responded, “What debate?” He said he thought the previous night’s debate, on CNN, was “the next debate.”
Reiterating his position that TV networks are making millions of dollars off of these debates and should be giving the money to wounded veterans, Trump said it’s time to knock off with the debates. CNN, which has saturated its schedule with debates this election cycle, called Trump’s No More Debates statement a big announcement of the newser, maybe sensing it wasn’t going to be the network making this morning’s announcement.
Instead, Fox News’ primetime stars Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, and Sunday Beltway show host Chris Wallace, will return as moderators for the debate that follows this week’s Super Tuesday 3. FNC said any GOP candidate left standing Wednesday is invited to this next debate, which will happen before voters go to the polls in Arizona and Utah on March 22.
Fox News’ GOP debates have been real barn burners, ratings-wise. Its three previous primary debates delivered the three highest-rated telecasts in the network’s history. The August 6 debate delivered 24 million viewers and remains the highest-rated non-sports cable broadcast of all time. The network’s most recent GOP debate on March 3 in Detroit – aka the Donald Trump Has Enormous Hands Debate – delivered the highest ratings for a debate in 2016.