Trump Bows Out of GOP Debate Days Before Iowa Caucus
The ongoing feud between Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly is no secret, but we are still surprised that Trump would see her presence as a reason to skip a key debate that was strategically timed for the candidates to get their messages out again before the critical Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
Trump is taking issue with the fact that Kelly is going to be one of the Fox New commentators moderating the debate. Trump feels that she treated him unfairly in the first debate, as do many of his supporters and viewers in general.
There was a lot of controversy regarding how Megyn Kelly treated Mr. Trump during the first debate, and a lot of people sided with Trump. Kelly was hammered on social media and Fox News got a lot of backlash over her behavior. Kelly was then off the air for 2 weeks, which was toted as a vacation, but we’re not 100% convinced on that.
His decision to not participate in this debate does not necessarily line up with his outspoken, tough guy act that has been dominating his campaign. There are rumors that he doesn’t want to debate Ted Cruz this close to the Iowa caucuses, but we do not have confirmation on that.
Earlier in the campaign, he has criticized other candidates that wouldn’t meet him in debates that he wanted to arrange. His response to the debate scheduled for Thursday seems a bit hypocritical to his previous comments. And it’s sure to affect his odds of winning the Iowa Caucus as many voters rely on him showing up and debating before they make their final decision.
We agree that having Kelly as a moderator may not be the ideal situation for Trump, but his refusal to be on stage with her does come across as pouting about not getting his way. He has called for her disengagement in election coverage for months, and to be honest, he’s used to getting what he wants. Fox News is not allowing him to control how the debate is handled or who handles it, and he’s not dealing very well with that.
Trump has announced that he will do an event supporting Wounded Warriors at the same time on a different network. He also stated that Fox News wouldn’t have any debate ratings without him and that his conflicting event will reduce their debate viewership from 24 million to 2 million.
He clearly feels that nearly all viewers watch Fox News because of him. It’s a cocky position, but that is nothing new for Trump. This behavior pairs well with his comments that he could walk up and shoot someone and still retain the level of support he enjoys now.
In what may be seen as a response to Trump’s decision, Fox News is reporting a story about mismanagement of donations by the Wounded Warrior project that indicates that the group spends as much on conferences and meetings as they spend on combat stress recovery. The timing of their report certainly could be seen as an attempt to throw some negativity on Trump’s own televised event on Thursday.
What his supporters may not realize is that these attitudes say something about them. For example, he is clearly stating that at least 22 million of the Fox News Debate viewers ONLY want to see him and will follow him like little sheep to another venue.
He has also implied that he could get away with murder and still retain the full support of his base, fundamentally implying his followers will love him beyond their moral and ethical convictions. To all Trump Followers – this is not a compliment.
Fox News has left his spot open and his invitation to attend intact. Is his refusal at this point a publicity stunt to get even more coverage prior to the event? Is he really feeling so disenfranchised by Kelly’s participation that he will not show up?
Looks like we will find out tomorrow night. It will also be interesting to see how the oddsmakers view this move and how it his odds on winning the 2016 Presidential election or the Republican nominee will change.