Donald Trump (left) announced recently that he would be chairing a televised debate with the leading GOP frontrunners. Invitations were sent.
Ironically these very same candidates were previously beating a path to The Donald’s door, assuming his public endorsement would make the difference. That was before The Donald intimated that he might run as an independent himself.
The lesson learnt? Presidential candidates can’t shine when pandering to a celebrity whose trademark is opinionated bluster.
The PR Verdict: “A” to the candidates who have sent their regrets. This was not the right PR vehicle.
The Donald has a habit of shouting down ideas and people he disagrees with. This has made him a media celebrity albeit without a high level of credibility or gravitas. By appearing in the debate, a presidential candidate runs the risk of looking like he is pandering to a bully. Not very presidential. Better to send a thank you note and regrets.