The choir is singing in unison, albeit pitchy.
“Crybabies and losers say life isn’t fair. And Trump is both,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. “Want to be President? Then get in the ring pal.”
“He needs to step up and do it. Nobody is entitled to this nomination”, said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said, “Former President Trump, the tough guy? The guy that says he’s gonna fight for America but he’s not willing to stand up, he’s gonna wimp out? Wimp out and not get on that debate stage?”
“I think it’s a mistake not to do the debates, but that’s going to be up to him and his campaign,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel told Fox News on Wednesday.
Of course being the experienced strategist, Donald Trump ignored the noise and replaced it with air horn blasts.
As it becomes increasingly likely that Donald Trump will skip the first Republican presidential debate next month, the ratings-obsessed ex-president is thinking about counterprogramming the Fox News event by appearing on Tucker Carlson’s Twitter show at the same time, Vanity Fair reported on Wednesday.
— Daily Beast, 7/19/23
That would be quite the tag team gut punch. Imagine the humiliation and ensuing mockery if a social media live stream drew more views than a nationally televised event.
Donald Trump has compelling reasons to skip over the bear trap.
“Ronald Reagan didn’t do it, and a lot of other people didn’t do it,” the former president said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” last weekend.
Former President Donald Trump again said he might ‘possibly not’ participate in the first Republican primary debate scheduled for August 23. But in a phone interview Thursday with Reuters, the ex-president went a step further and said he might plan some counter-programming to the debate. Trump said he was entertaining offers to hold a separate event during the debate or later in the same evening.
‘We’ve had a lot of offers, whether it’s a rally or whether it’s an interview by somebody else,’ he said. ‘Not to be braggadocios but the debate will not be a very exciting one if I’m not there.’
Almost all are in agreement with that forecast which is why Fox News seems to be pushing the GOP presidential candidates to implore Trump to show up to the Milwaukee debate.
Fox News personalities Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, John Roberts and Piers Morgan have all come out in agreement: In their opinion, Donald Trump should absolutely participate in the first Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2024 cycle, which will be held next month in Milwaukee — and broadcast on their very own Fox News.
The former president has refused to commit to the Aug. 23 debate, and he indicated as recently as Sunday that he’s leaning against it. (“When you have a big lead, you don’t do it,” he told interviewer Maria Bartiromo.) So in the meantime, various hosts on Fox have taken it upon themselves to use the network’s airwaves to try to make the case to the man himself.
And we should always be skeptical of almost everything proclaimed by the media, about the media. In fact, assuming the opposite is safest.
Fox News management has not encouraged on-air talent to lobby Trump to appear at the debate, according to a network official familiar with the situation.
— Washington Post, 7/22/23
Based on past experience, Trump is wise to be careful when it comes to getting a fair shake from Fox News and their debate moderators.
Executives at the Rupert Murdoch-owned network, though, are scrambling to get Trump to show up in August, as my colleague Gabriel Sherman reported earlier this week. “Fox is trying to get Trump to say yes. They’re offering him the world to show they can be trusted,” a top GOP operative who was briefed on the conversations between the campaign and the network told Sherman, with one senior Trump campaign official noting that host Sean Hannity has been in frequent contact with the former president to try to smooth relations between Trump and the network.
— Vanity Fair, 6/3023
Following the Dominion defamation lawsuit that Fox settled for $787.5 million, the company reportedly placed a “soft ban” on putting Trump on air.
— Business Insider, 7/22/23
Fox News would clearly be the loser if Trump declined to participate in the upcoming debate. Trump knows that advertisers are monitoring instead buying up ad space because why spend the money if a sizable audience won’t be there? This is where Donald Trump has all the leverage over Fox News. This won’t be the only debate on the channel and an absence for the first one would send a message, loud and clear to any other network as well as the Commission on Presidential Debates, of which he’s also likely to tell go pound sand… that is, until the last minute.
The reality is the other GOP Republican presidential candidates NEED Donald Trump there so they can try and punch up. The need the exposure on a national platform to try and convince voters what they say they’d do if elected president. The looming problem for them is that they’ve yet to feel the sting of a looming 24/7 liberal media onslaught. No Republican has ever had to weather the five-year-plus storm Donald Trump endured and still received the most votes a GOP presidential candidate ever has. The Republican bottomfeeders claim to be tough, but we’ve also seen our candidates back off many times just when the ground-and-pound on the Democrat was most effective.
Donald Trump is the only candidate who won’t tell the American people what he will try to do. Donald Trump has done it. He has a documented and unprecedented track record as president.
He has no reason to go on a stage, totally outnumbered by opponents in a forum “moderated” by the Jersey Girl and Eddie Munster, and respond to insults from Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie to defend promises kept.