If you haven't heard already, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump
will be skipping the final GOP debate of the primary season tomorrow because he has a problem with Megyn Kelly
, the Fox News pundit moderating the debate.
Like with so many things Trump, the official press release from his campaign
is more bizarre than anything derisive we could possibly come up with. Here it is:
As someone who wrote one of the best-selling business books of all time, The Art of the Deal, who has built an incredible company, including some of the most valuable and iconic assets in the world, and as someone who has a personal net worth of many billions of dollars, Mr. Trump knows a bad deal when he sees one. FOX News is making tens of millions of dollars on debates, and setting ratings records (the highest in history), where as in previous years they were low-rated afterthoughts.
Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away. Roger Ailes and FOX News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games. There have already been six debates, and according to all online debate polls including Drudge, Slate, Time Magazine, and many others, Mr. Trump has won all of them, in particular the last one. Whereas he has always been a job creator and not a debater, he nevertheless truly enjoys the debating process - and it has been very good for him, both in polls and popularity.
He will not be participating in the FOX News debate and will instead host an event in Iowa to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors, who have been treated so horribly by our all talk, no action politicians. Like running for office as an extremely successful person, this takes guts and it is the kind of mentality our country needs in order to Make America Great Again.
There was a time when such a move by Trump — stamping his foot and refusing to appear on the stage of the unofficial news organ of American conservatism less than a week before the Iowa caucuses — would have been called catastrophic by everyone in the media. But lessons have been learned. The days of confidently predicting an imminent Trump implosion (Trumplosion?
) are over. Donald Trump plays by different political rules. He can call John McCain a coward. He can call Mexicans rapists. He can call for barring Muslims from entering the U.S. Who says he can't walk away from Fox News?
Nonetheless, here's some speculation from Vox's Andrew Prokop
about whether Trump's hissy fit will work out for his campaign or work against it. Or, alternatively, if it's just a negotiating ploy to achieve an attention-grabbing, eleventh-hour deal with Fox to secure his presence on the debate stage.
According to a reporter Prokop cites, Trump is insisting on dealing directly with Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch
to reach some sort of agreement: "Trump source says Trump isn't taking Ailes calls. Hannity just tried calling trump as an emissary. Trump only wants to deal with Murdoch now ... on a chairman-to-chairman level"
It's all too much like a WWE set up
to be real, but real it unfortunately is.
Meanwhile, in other Trump news, he also secured the endorsement
of Arizona's top immigrant-basher, Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe Arpaio
yesterday. As Brian Beutler at the New Republic writes
, endorsements from right-wing heroes like Arpaio and Sarah Palin
"are precisely the kinds of endorsements Trump needs to pull away from his closest rival, Ted Cruz, who was otherwise well-situated to consolidate the factions they represent. Trump is similarly sidling up to other religious right stalwarts in the race."
Finally, the Washington Post rounds up this entertaining list
of the many, many times he's warned the nation that the rest of the world is "laughing at us" over the decades. Who exactly is laughing? Mostly the Communist Chinese. But also, OPEC. And Mexico. And Iran. And Russia. Japan. Saudi Arabia. Etc. Reporter Niraj Chokshi writes:
Partial though the analysis may be, Trump's frequent caution that the world is laughing at us reveals something about his worldview, if not his psyche: A once-exceptional America has transformed into the butt of a global joke, Trump believes, and its reputation must be restored.
Laugh away, world. Trump will put a stop to that in short order.