- The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A couple of Ted Cruz super PACs say the deep-pocketed families funding their groups would be willing to donate $1.5 million for military veterans if businessman Donald Trump agrees to a one-on-one debate with the Texas Republican before Monday’s Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Trump pulled out of the prime-time debate Thursday in Des Moines after host Fox News refused to replace moderator Megyn Kelly. The debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. EST.

Mr. Trump, who is running neck-and-neck with Mr. Cruz in Iowa, has scheduled a 7 p.m. “special event” to raise money for veterans at nearby Drake University.

In response, Mr. Cruz has tried to bait Mr. Trump into a one-on-one debate without a moderator. 

On Wednesday, the families funding the Keep the Promise I and Keep the Promise II super PACs took it a step further by pledging to donate $1.5 million in charities — plus whatever revenue the host network would share — if Mr. Trump agrees to a one-hour debate with Mr. Cruz in Iowa.

“Senator Cruz and Mr. Trump both respect the veterans and hold them in the highest regard but Senator Cruz respects the process and we are calling on Mr. Trump to do the same and debates are the purest form of democracy,” the principal donors of Keep the Promise I, the Mercer family, and Keep the Promise II, the Neugebauer family, said in a joint statement. ”Iowans — and Americans — deserve to hear from the front-runners in this ‘two-man race’ one last time.

Not only would this be a heck of a debate, but it would also be a terrific opportunity to generate millions of dollars for the veterans,” they said.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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