President Donald Trump says he would not “go back to horse racing,” a move that is widely considered an effort to appease conservatives who view the sport as a symbol of American exceptionalism.
Trump’s comments were first reported by the Washington Examiner.
The president told reporters he had been considering whether to visit the country for the past year and that he would be a spectator if he went.
“I think I have to think about it,” Trump said.
“But if I did go, I think I’d go as a spectator.
I wouldn’t go as much as the last guy.”
Trump’s plan to visit a horse track is part of an effort by the White House to appease conservative groups that have argued that horse racing should be outlawed.
Trump, who campaigned for the presidency on a pledge to “Make America Great Again,” has previously said he would prefer to go to the races if he could.
In December, he called on Americans to boycott horse races in an attempt to win back support from conservatives who had criticized his decision to cancel the Kentucky Derby and the Indy 500.
“You don’t have to go and see horses on the track.
But I think we’re going to have a lot of people coming,” Trump told the Associated Press.”
It’s not a big deal, it’s not going to be a big thing.
You can go to a movie theater or whatever.
You have a place that you can go, go to, sit at the bar or whatever.”
The president has previously defended his decision by saying that the United States was a “nation of pioneers” and that “nobody ever made it to the top of the horse.”
Trump told reporters Friday that he was considering his options on horse racing and that there was “no rush.”
“You know, we’ll see.
We’re in the early stages,” Trump was quoted as saying by CNN.”
Look, if I were a betting man, I’d say I’d do it.
But we’ll have to see,” he added.