The blockbuster event of the 2016 presidential primary cycle may be upon us. Donald Trump, the assumed Republican presidential nominee, and Bernie Sanders, the second-place Democratic candidate, are toying 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 completely shaken up the political establishment. Trump has predicted the event would draw huge ratings.
In fact, Trump is already predicting a grandiose price tag for anyone advertising during the event, with the proceeds going to charity. Trump priced the debate between $10 million and $15 million, and suggested a women’s health organization should receive the monetary donations (is this a sly jab at Hillary Clinton?). Trump and Sanders agree the debate should take place in a massive arena in California, or as Sanders put it “the biggest stadium possible,” where both parties will hold primary contests on June 7.
The jeering has already begun between the candidates. “The problem with debating Bernie is that he’d lose,” Trump remarked at a press conference in North Dakota. Sanders quickly responded on Twitter during the broadcast, saying “Game on.” Looks like Sanders is not taking up on Trump’s Independent run offer.
“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.”