Fox sandbags Trump
The Fox News trio sandbagged Trump at the beginning of the debate by asking the candidates to pledge to support the party nominee. It’s a question outside the purview of what reporters should be asking. Is it their job to enforce party loyalty? But it’s a question that they knew would be a huge loser for Trump no matter how he answered.
None of the other nine candidates had any reason at all not to make such a pledge. No one has any chance of winning the election running as a independent candidate, and it’s improbable that any of them could even obtain enough money in donations and/or enough volunteer workers to be able to even get on the ballot in all fifty states. And with the exception of Ben Carson, all of the others are lifer politicians who need to remain in the good graces of the party elites.
Trump, on the other hand, needs the option to run as an independent candidate as a mutual-assured-destruction insurance policy to use against the party elites who hate him and want him out of there. Trump’s message to them is that if you don’t give me the respect I’m entitled to as the leader in the polls, I can screw you over by ensuring that your boy Jeb Bush loses to the Democrat. So don’t you dare mess with me.
Unfortunately, Trump couldn’t explain all of that at the debate, so he just winds up looking petty and a spoil sport to the other candidates. At least he would appear that way to viewers who don’t understand the nuances of Trump’s position, which is the majority of viewers. I understood it very well, which is why I winced at the question and there were some suspenseful moments as I wondered whether Trump would cave in to the pledge only to be sacked later on by Republican Party elites who would be given the green light to run roughshod over him.
I should point out that if Trump does run against Jeb Bush as an independent and prevents him from winning, he’d be doing the country a great favor, because as I’ve written before, a President Jeb Bush almost guarantees that there will be amnesty for illegal immigrants, because the same Republican congressmen who would vote against such a proposal by Hillary Clinton would pass it for Jeb Bush.
The pledge question was shortly followed up by the mean-spirited Megyn Kelly question accusing him of being a misogynist, which, according to the mainstream liberal media playbook, is the second most evil type of person after a racist.
Clearly the goal of Fox News was to turn off viewers to Trump at the very beginning of the debate. According to the Frank Luntz post-debate focus group, they succeeded, but one wonders how that focus group was selected.