Looks like Donald Trump took a page from Hillary Clinton's book and chickened out.
Sanders' rival for the Democratic nomination said earlier this week that she would not participate in a debate with Sanders in California ahead of that state's primary next month, despite having agreed to do so previously.
Trump's statement, in full:
Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. Likewise, the networks want to make a killing on these events and are not proving to be too generous to charitable causes, in this case, women’s health issues. Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders - and it would be an easy payday - I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.
Speaking with reporters in Los Angeles on Friday, Sanders said he hoped Trump would have a change of heart.
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"I hope that he changes his mind again. Mr. Trump is known to change his mind many times in a day," Sanders said. "Trump is a bully, he's a big tough guy. Well, I say to Mr. Trump, what are you afraid of?"
In a statement, the Vermont senator alluded to why Trump—whom Sanders consistently trounces in polls—might not want to face him head-on:
There is a reason why in virtually every national and statewide poll I am defeating Donald Trump, sometimes by very large margins and almost always by far larger margins than Secretary Clinton. There is a reason for that reality and the American people should be able to see it up front in a good debate and a clash of ideas.
Alas, wrote David A. Graham at The Atlantic, "the Queens-Brooklyn accent showdown would have been tremendous."
People were tweeting under the hashtag #ChickenTrump: