Networks are chomping at the bit to be the host of this potential debate between Sanders and Trump. But the Republican nominee won’t take the stage unless Bernie pays him. Check out why.
An off-the-cuff remark from Donald Trump to a late-night talk show host might snowball into the blockbuster event of the 2016 presidential primary cycle.
Trump, the de facto Republican presidential nominee, and Bernie Sanders, the second-place Democratic hopeful, are flirting with the idea of staging a shocking spectacle in a historically unpredictable presidential race: a cross-party primary debate between two outsider candidates who have shaken up the political establishment.
Both candidates say they’re interested in a debate that Trump has predicted would draw huge ratings.
“This would be a complete circus,” said Democratic media strategist Brad Bannon. “To me, it shows more than anything else that American politics has become entertainment.”
“I think it’d be fun to watch,” she said.
Trump says his campaign has been contacted by several networks eager to get in on the action.
He is already predicting a hefty price tag for anyone advertising during the event, with proceeds going to charity. Trump priced the debate between $10 million and $15 million, and suggested a women’s health organization should receive the money.
“The Young Turks” online news outlet, where Sanders has appeared, offered $1 million to charity to stage the event, Politico reported.
Trump and Sanders agree the debate should take place in a massive arena, likely in California, where both parties will hold primary contests on June 7.
Sanders channeled his inner Trump in proposing “the biggest stadium possible” for the debate.
The Vermont senator thanked host Jimmy Kimmel for giving the idea life when he appeared on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday night.
“You made it possible for us to have a very interesting debate about two guys who look at the world very, very differently,” he said.
Sanders also said that ABC, Kimmel’s network, had reached out to the campaign about putting on the debate. At the beginning of his show, Kimmel offered to moderate.
Just the possibility of a Trump-Sanders debate set the media sphere ablaze.
Political watchers are clearly excited by the potential showdown between a world-famous billionaire reality TV star and a self-identified democratic socialist whose long-shot presidential bid has transformed him from a back-bench senator to a pop culture phenomenon.