The Slatest

Sanders and Trump Say They’ll Debate Each Other (Update: Maybe Not)

A Bernie Sanders supporter protests at a Donald Trump rally in Cincinnati on March 13.

John Sommers II/Getty Images

Update, 10:05 a.m.: Nevermind, maybe.

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Original post, 9:32 a.m.: Well, this is random and interesting—Donald Trump went on Jimmy Kimmel’s show Wednesday night and said (in response to a query that the Bernie Sanders campaign submitted to Kimmel) that he’d be willing to debate Sanders. From NBC:

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“If he paid a sum toward charity I would love to do that,” said the business mogul, noting that a Sanders vs. Trump debate “would have such high ratings.”

(LOL Trump, always concerned about making sure that other people’s money gets raised for charity.)

Then Sanders, who’s peeved that Hillary Clinton is backing out of a planned Democratic debate, jumped on the offer:

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Interesting, interesting. Aside from being must-see political TV (ugh), it’s hard to immediately say who this would help. On the one hand, Sanders would likely be ruthless in criticizing Trump’s business activities and worldview, reducing the chances that Sanders-leaning independents would move to Trump in the general; on the other hand, an effective performance might help him win California, which would be another party-unification-delaying pain in the neck for Hillary.

Of course, Trump is not exactly known for following through on public promises, so another major possibility here is that it just doesn’t end up happening at all.

This post has been updated with additional information.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign. 

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