“I think there ought to be a debate before the vote next Tuesday,” Cruz told reporters in Florida today. “Donald concluded the people of New York didn’t deserve a debate. Well, you know what? I think the people of Pennsylvania deserve a debate.”
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island all hold their primaries next week. Cruz acknowledged today that the geography was more favorable toward Trump than to him, and that he is looking ahead to subsequent contests in Montana, Nebraska and California.
Cruz maintained that a debate, a format that seems to have benefited him in the past, showcases Trump’s lack of policy prowess and demonstrates is unreadiness to be the nominee.
“Trump is unwilling to stand on stage and debate because he cannot defend his positions or his policies,” Cruz said. “He has no substantive economic positions.”
There have been 12 Republican debates so far. The last one, as Cruz pointed out today, was held 41 days ago, on March 10 in Miami. An additional one scheduled for March 21 was canceled.
Cruz’s comments about the need for another debate come as he visits the Republican National Committee spring meeting in Florida, where committee members will, among other issues, discuss this summer’s convention in Cleveland.