I’m waiting for Little Richard, Ariana Grande and Tom Brady to announce that they’re running – because all of them could make the Fox News debate before John Kasich or Bobby Jindal. The last time he’s talking about is the last presidential cycle where boisterous Republican candidates took turns beating up on their more centrist competitors.
New York magazine reports that Fox News’ rules for the upcoming Republican presidential debate are generating considerable controversy among staffers at the network. We’ve seen Ted Cruz on the Senate floor accusing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying; Lindsey Graham taking a baseball bat to his cellphone; oh, and there’s Mike Huckabee charging Obama with leading Jews “to the ovens”, and the iconic Rand Paul taking a chainsaw to the tax code.
Two crucial polls released over the course of this week, CNN and PPP, confirm that Trump, indeed, has gained vote share among GOP voters.
A Politico report highlights the situation between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who are within 1.3 percentage points of each other in the latest poll numbers from Real Clear Politics.
It’s somehow fitting that Stewart’s final show will coincide with a debate doubleheader featuring so many of his favorite targets. “It’s got to be frustrating”.
Which is a first in this campaign, I believe. With it, the primary enters a new, more competitive phase. While top-tier candidates like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker can focus nearly exclusively on debate preparation, and while Donald Trump can afford to fly off to Scotland, candidates like Christie, Kasich and Perry will be forced to cram in practice sessions amid media hits that could continue into next week. Elevated recognition combined with a strong performance can propel underdogs into contention, solidify frontrunners, and perhaps more important than any of that, boost fundraising and grassroots enthusiasm for their campaigns. “The American people deserve better”. For more conventional candidates, statements like these would be deal breakers. But this debate also could mark the beginning of intraparty warfare between the candidates, as underdogs pick fights with frontrunners in a bid to cast doubt on their conservative credentials and diminish any aura of strength and electability in the general election.
With 10 candidates, the two-hour broadcast has enough room for about only eight to 10 minutes of talk-time per participant. I think it’s the first time Donald Trump has admitted that a politician might have a skill that he doesn’t.
Maddow went on to ask Fox News “are you sure you want to run the presidential primary like this?”
“It’s very hard for candidates to distinguish themselves and to be memorable”, Hollihan says, “and what we know of how debate works is that people primarily take away quips, and lines that are memorable, and mistakes”.
Trump’s legal team has used the threat of a lawsuit as a tactic to punish his perceived opponents.