The U.S. Republican presidential debate scheduled for next week in Utah has been canceled, two local news affiliates in Salt Lake City reported on Wednesday, after party front-runner Donald Trump earlier said he would not attend.
Fox13 and ABC’s KUTV cited representatives for the Salt Palace Convention Center where the televised event was to be held. A representative for the center referred calls to Fox, which could not immediately be reached for comment.
In an interview on Fox News earlier on Wednesday, Trump said he would not attend the event, scheduled for March 21, as he thought the Republicans had “had enough debates.”
Rival John Kasich said following Trump’s decision that he would not attend the debate unless the front-runner changed his mind and decided to come.
Ted Cruz, the third candidate vying for the Republican nomination for the November presidential election, criticized Trump on Twitter for his decision, calling him #DuckingDonald and urging his supporters to tell him to attend the debate.
The network announced Monday’s debate earlier this week.
Trump previously skipped a Fox News debate in January amid complaints that he had been mistreated by the network. He has long clashed with anchor Megyn Kelly and revived criticism of her on Tuesday, tweeting that she was “crazy” and “unwatchable.”
Fox News is part of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.
(Reporting by Megan Cassella; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Marguerita Choy)
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