The first GOP debate of the primary season took place in Cleveland on Thursday night and was moderated by Fox News anchors, Megyn Kelly, Brett Baier and Chris Wallace and it was clear from the start that this would be no softball question debate when right off the bat the candidates were asked if there was anyone on the stage that wouldn’t promise to support the eventual GOP nominee and not launch a third-party candidacy. All the candidates were in agreement sans billionaire Donald Trump who raised his hand. This question was clearly aimed at Trump who has been reportedly thinking about running as an independent should he fail to win the Republican nomination, and it set the tone for the rest of the debate.
Throughout the two hour debate Trump was repeatedly challenged on his history- from having said that a single-payer health system can work to his contribution to Clinton Foundation to the multiple bankruptcies that some of his companies have had over the years.
Trump, in his brash politically incorrect style fought back against the charges and largely entertained the audience at Quicken Loans Arena, but the tough questioning of him and the other candidates enraged many conservatives who thought that Fox had an agenda to discredit Trump as well as potentially bring down a few other candidates.
This is nothing but sour grapes. Trump deserves to be questioned. He has made rude and crude remarks about women and anyone else he disagrees with for years and hasn’t suffered at all from it due to his vast wealth and influence. But for him to complain about the tough questioning shows an awfully thin skin and doesn’t bode well for someone who will be subjected to much tougher questions as the campaign heats up. Think about it this way. If the candidates-Trump in particular had just answered the questions, they would have have been able to put them behind them and move on. Instead the response only created more controversy and more headaches for the RNC.
Trump didnt’t help the situation when he told CNN’s Don Lemon Friday night that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes,” adding “blood coming out of her wherever.” alluding to maybe Kelly was having a period.
That resulted in Trump being disinvited to the Red State Gathering in Atlanta where he was to be the concluding speaker Saturday night which only set Trump on fire when he called Red State organizer Erick Erickson, “weak” and “pathetic” and said he was a victim of political correctness.
Trump’s opponents, who may not have been overly happy with the debate on Thursday are lining up behind Kelly and provided an opening for them to take shots at Trump for being anti-women.
While Trump is leading in the polls among all GOP candidates, this doesn’t give him the right to get so personal in his attacks because he didn’t like the questions he was being asked.
Conservatives who rose to Trump’s defense need to really assess why they support Trump. Yes he has talked tough on immigration and is generally saying things many of the other candidates won’t say but should, but he also thinks that his business success and wealth make him immune from criticism. Well Mt. Trump I have news for you- that’s now how it is is in politics especially if you’re a Republican.
The liberal media is eating all this controversy up and that’s bad news for the RNC.
Fox News had a job to do and they did it. Sorry to the conservatives who expected or wanted a boring friendly debate. Now the candidates have an an idea of what to expect when they participate in the CNN moderated debate in September and they will be the better for it.