The Republican presidential nominee frontrunner Donald Trump said he isn’t looking to attack his opponents in the first US Republican debate later this week.
Speaking on ABC’s This Week, Trump said that he isn’t “going to be throwing punches. I'm not looking to attack them.”
The real estate mogul has surged in the polls recently, surpassing other candidates as the favourite to win the Republican nomination. In his campaign, he has been vocally critical of other candidates, but still leads despite an outcry from within his party over comments he made against senator John McCain’s army record.
However, Trump added:
The fact is that I've been attacked pretty viciously by some of these guys. And I have a lot of respect for numerous people on the stage.
But I have been attacked and I counter punch. I didn't start the attacks.
The debate will take place in Cleveland on Thursday, hosted by Fox News and Facebook, who have restricted the pool to the top 10 candidates – of a 17-candidate field – determined by the average of five national polls.
When asked if he would consider a win in the debate, Trump relied: "I'm not a debater. These politicians — I always say, they're all talk, no action. They debate all the time. They go out and they debate every night. I don't debate. I build — I've created tremendous jobs. I've built a great company. I do a lot of things."
In the past Trump has celebrated Jeb Bush, fellow Republican nominee hopeful, and Hilary Clinton, who is favourite to win the Democratic nomination. However, Trump said these statements were made as a businessman where he needed to support everybody, and that now he has taken a stronger tone against them as someone who “wants to make [America] great.”
Firmly atop the polls, Trump also jumped on the opportunity to insult his fellow candidates, who attended an event over the weekend hosted by a group associated with the Koch brothers, who contribute heavily to the Republican party.