I’m sure by know you have heard that Donald Trump won’t be at tomorrow night’s debate. And while a lot of focus has been put on that, let’s take a trip down memory lane to remember how we got to this point.
It was back at the end of October, following the last Fox debate, when Republican candidates all got together in a meeting to demand the networks treat candidates more fairly. Since then things have gone rather well for the GOP debates, welll…. until yesterday.
It started with Trump posting Tweet to his followerers:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2016
That poll does have 57% saying “yes” he should do the debate. But apparently Fox didn’t like Trump wondering aloud if he should do the debate, and blasted out this response to media:
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.
As far as I can tell that statement is unprecedented from a network getting ready to host a major debate. I can’t recall any other major news network (and I use that term loosely) attacking a candidate, who is in a debate they are getting ready to host.As matter of fact, it gives more credence to Trump’s decision not to attend.
This all takes us back to another interesting thing we’ve seen this cycle. Before that meeting last fall, there was another meeting. One in which all the GOP candidates signed a pledge agreeing to support the eventual nominee. That came on the heels of Trump toying with the idea of an independent run, which would destroy any chances at the Republicans retaking the White House this fall.
Now with the history lesson and latest events behind us, put this into context. You have a debate, which was setup as an agreement between Fox News and the RNC. You have the candidates demanding fair treatment of all candidates from the sponsoring networks. And now you have a network blatantly going against that in an unprecedented statement attacking not just one of the candidates, but the party’s front-runner.
In all honesty, while the RNC is probably loving this drama, they should be out there denouncing the actions of their debate partner and demand that Fox retract the statement at the least. But they aren’t, and now they are violating the agreement with Trump (and other candidates) that said they would be fairly treated in return of that candidate supporting the party’s nominee.
Now Trump has a fully justified reason to again talk an independent run, and I could see him doing just that, especially if Ted Cruz has a better than predicted outcome in the early states.