[UPDATE: Trump and his campaign are now saying that he will definitely skip the debate. Of course, that may change, but for now he is out. Further updates included below]
ORIGINAL POST: Donald Trump has been been whining about Thursday’s GOP debate on Fox News because he’s afraid to face Megyn Kelly. For the past couple of days he has been hinting that he might boycott the debate unless Kelly is dropped. And today on Twitter he is asking people to vote on whether or not he should show up. This is where you come in.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2016
Well now Trump and his campaign are saying that he is definitely out and that it is not negotiable. Assuming that he sticks to this (which is not a particularly solid assumption) Fox News will probably suffer a dip in the ratings for the program. However, they will also have a better chance to produce a more substantive, informative debate (although not much more).
Upon hearing this news Ted Cruz also chided Trump for being afraid of Kelly. Then he challenged Trump to a one-on-one debate with different mocerators. He suggested Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and/or Glenn Beck. Now that would be a real hoot.
There’s just one little problem. The RNC has stated that the candidates may not participate in any debates other than those that they have sanctioned. The consequences if they do include being prohibited from any other sanctioned debate. So we’ll see where that goes.
The Back Story: Recently Trump tweeted this about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly: “Based on @MegynKelly’s conflict of interest and bias she should not be allowed to be a moderator of the next debate.” He seems not to know what a conflict of interest is, but as for bias, he is simply referring to his objection to an entirely appropriate question she asked him in the first GOP debate. She asked him to explain his many derogatory references to women. He dodged the question and complained about political correctness, and after the debate he accused Kelly having been hormonal. That led to a prolonged series of attacks on her.
Trump is saying he might hold his own televised townhall to compete with the debate. Fox is, so far, refusing to capitulate saying “Sooner or later Donald Trump even if he’s president, is going to have to learn that he doesn’t get to pick the journalists. We’re very surprised he’s willing to show that much fear about being questioned by Megyn Kelly.” Fox deserves credit for standing firm, and it’s pretty cagey of them to accuse Trump of cowardice. Fox is also responding to Trump’s Twitter poll with this:
“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”
Trump’s response to this:
“I didn’t like the fact that they sent out press releases toying, talking about Putin, and playing games. I don’t know what games Roger Ailes is playing, but what’s wrong over there. Something’s wrong. But when they sent out that press release, … I said, ‘Who are these people playing games?’”
Really? Donald Trump, who has been the biggest clown in the GOP’s circus suddenly doesn’t like playing games? This just keeps getting funnier and funnier. The falling out between Trump and Fox News can only be positive. Let’s hope they keep this feud going.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Trump is saying that he might hold a fundraiser for veterans during the debate. As much as some veterans are in need of assistance, it is just disgusting that Trump would use that as a political retaliation. If he sincerely cared about the welfare of veterans why didn’t he schedule a fundraiser last week or last month or at any other time unrelated to this dispute with Fox? Why doesn’t he give some of his billions to them without making it part of his tantrum?
Trump is also whining about how the ratings for the debate will decline without him. That’s probably true, but it demonstrates that all he is interested in is the commercial viability of the event. He doesn’t care about the democratic process or accountability to voters. It’s all about money and ego to Trump.
And then there’s this: Trump was interviewed by Megyn Kelly about a debate that he was trying (and failed) to put together with Newsmax in 2011.