Spoiler effect and potential Independent campaign causes Trump vs. Paul fracas at Fox News Debate

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Donald Trump was the only candidate on stage at tonight’s Fox News Debate who refused to pledge to support Republican nominee, and rule out running as an Independent. Trump stuck to this statement when moderator Bret Baier insisted that “experts say an Independent run would almost certainly hand the race over to the Democrats.”

Rand Paul jumped in to accuse Trump of being corrupt and secretly plotting to elect Hillary Clinton, prompting Trump to reply “Well I’ve given him [Rand Paul] plenty of money.”

Donald Trump briefly sought the nomination of the Reform Party in 2000, before withdrawing prior to the convention, and has in the past given his political affiliation as Independent (as well as Democrat for a time.)

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64 thoughts on “Spoiler effect and potential Independent campaign causes Trump vs. Paul fracas at Fox News Debate

  1. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Loving how nonpartisan and objective the Foxnews host is. Fair and balanced

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    Asking that question at the beginning of the debate seemed a bit contrived to me, and a bit unfair. However, it did unsettle Trump, and perhaps is part of the reason he did so badly the rest of the debate.

    I don’t like Trump at all, but I had no idea of how hostile he is to women. His background of calling women “fat pigs”, the unecessary attack on Rosie, and then the disrespect for Meghan sould have repulsed everyone. He refused to take accountability for his companies’ bankrupties, and was clearly unprepared.

    I hope his campaign never recovers from the debate.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    I seem to recall that Perot drew evenly from the Rs and Ds.

    Also, assuming Hillary is the D nominee, I think she’s positioned more leftward than Bill was AND she has a lot more baggage than Bill did. So I’m so sure the “experts” are necessarily correct.

    OTOH, Trump’s signature issues are immigration and anti-trade, so my guess is that he as an independent would probably pull from R voters than Ds.

    This one’s shaping up to be butt ugly, nasty, and darkening rather than enlightening.

  4. paulie

    Loving how nonpartisan and objective the Foxnews host is. Fair and balanced

    ‘Mr Trump – one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter,’ Kelly told the real estate tycoon on Thursday night.

    ‘However, that is not without its downsides. In particular, when it comes to women. You call women you don’t like, “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “disgusting animals.” ‘

    Trump interjected and said, ‘Only Rosie O’Donnell.’

    No, it wasn’t,’ she told Trump as the audience cheered loudly for him.

    When the noise died down, she continued, saying, ‘For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.’

    ‘Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees,’ Kelly reminded him. ‘Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?’

    ‘I think the big problem that this country has is being politically correct,’ he said to new cheers. ‘I’ve been challenged by so many people. And I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness, and I’ll be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.’

    ‘This country is in big trouble. we don’t win anymore,’ he continued, changing the topic. ‘We lose to china. We lose to Mexico….we lose to everybody.’

    ‘And frankly what I say, and oftentimes, it’s fun, it’s kidding, we have a good time. what I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn if you don’t like it. I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you,’ he said, before adding, ‘although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me – but I wouldn’t do that.’

  5. paulie

    I don’t like Trump at all, but I had no idea of how hostile he is to women.

    You should watch this then:

    His background of calling women “fat pigs”, the unecessary attack on Rosie, and then the disrespect for Meghan sould have repulsed everyone. He refused to take accountability for his companies’ bankrupties, and was clearly unprepared.

    I don’t know, I think the people that like him may think he did well. After all, if he can get away with being openly racist and with calling McCain out on his war record among other things, why can he not get away with being openly sexist and openly proud of screwing people over because, hey, that’s business, everyone does it, and they’re not nice people anyway?

  6. paulie

    I seem to recall that Perot drew evenly from the Rs and Ds.

    Correct. See https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2015/07/rachel-maddow-dispels-common-myth-that-perot-cost-bush-the-election/ for detailed proof. And yet, people keep repeating the blatant and ridiculous lie; Chris Matthews and his panel on MSNBC last night, for example.

    OTOH, Trump?s signature issues are immigration and anti-trade, so my guess is that he as an independent would probably pull from R voters than Ds.

    Maybe, and there’s a fairly plausible conspiracy theory that he is actually working together with the Clintons to do just that – he had a call with Bill Clinton before he decided to run and Clinton encouraged him to do it. But on the other hand, Trump as an independent may not have the same issue position as Trump the primary candidate. He could go back to his earlier positions on abortion, wealth taxes, universal government paid health insurance, gun “control” …

    Anti-trade is not really clearly identifiable as a right or left issue; lots of Democrats are anti-trade. Anti-immigration is usually considered right wing, but not always; Bernie Sanders doesn’t think so, for example:

    Ezra Klein: You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …

    Bernie Sanders: Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.

    Ezra Klein: Really?

    Bernie Sanders: Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …

    Ezra Klein: But it would make …

    Bernie Sanders: Excuse me …

    Ezra Klein: It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?

    Bernie Sanders: It would make everybody in America poorer ?you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

    To his credit, Klein pushed back by pointing out that the poor people of the United States are actually quite wealthy when compared with the poor people of other countries. But Sanders maintained that his first obligation as a senator from Vermont was to defend American workers from the scourge of foreigners taking their jobs.

    And yeah, Trump is a warmonger, which is right wing.

    So a Trump independent candidacy could conceivably be neither left nor right but authoritarian-populist, bottom of the Nolan diamond chart. If that’s the case, it’s certainly conceivable that he could pull equally from both Clinton and Bush (or whoever the establishment parties nominate). It’s less likely, but conceivable, that he could win as an independent – Perot was on track to win if he hadn’t dropped out, and the wasted vote miscalculation doesn’t enter into it if one is polling competitively and is seen as having a chance to win.

    This one?s shaping up to be butt ugly, nasty, and darkening rather than enlightening.

    Yep!

  7. Robert Capozzi

    Of course, with the last of the tetrad of blood moons coming next month, could be that all bets are off. It may be the outset of the Frankel Singularity! 😉

  8. paulie

    Could be the onset of the Frankel Bifurcation. We’ll split into parallel universes, one utopian and one dystopian.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    Sweet song, but we all know that Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens

  10. Dave

    Aside from Fox, everything I’m reading in the conservative blogosphere has Trump winning. He plays the victim card really well, so I think he’ll milk this for all its worth.

    If FOX really is going all out against Trump, and I do think they had a bias against him last evening, that might push him closer to a third party run. But I don’t think he’d jump ship until his poll numbers started to decline. For you knowledgeable folks, when’s the latest he could realistically run for third party and still get on all the state ballots? I know it takes a lot of resources and while his are near limitless, it still takes time to hire people to collect signatures etc.

  11. paulie

    He has plenty of time. He doesn’treally start hitting any hard deadlines until I believe well into spring, although it does start costing more and more if you don’t get an early start. Pushing multiple deadlines at the same time with very little time to complete them gets very expensive, but then again he can afford it.

  12. Andy Craig Post author

    Some of the sore-loser laws would kick in as soon as he missed the deadline to have his name removed from GOP primary ballots in that state, and iirc some of those are as early as November or December. Though a good solid legal challenge might be able to get sore-loser laws struck down, which would be nice.

    I don’t think he could start as late as after IA and NH and still get on in all 50 states. But getting to over 270+EV and most of the country covered would be doable.

  13. paulie

    I don’t think there’s any way to start as late as after IA and NH and then get on in all 50 states.

    If he can beat sore loser laws in court I would say that he could start after IA and NH. Prior to Michigan in 2012 I would have said that would be a slam dunk case but the 6th Circuit decision and then the US Supreme Court not taking the case proved that it’s not. Trump throwing enough money at it wouldn’t necessarily move partisan Republican judges with lifetime appointments, either.

  14. Gene Berkman

    “He’s already hedging his bets” Rand says of Trump. Actually the only one hedging his bets is Rand Paul, who is running for President and running for Senator at the same time.

    “He buys and sells politicians” charges Rand Paul. Yes, but Trump knows better than to pay $300,000 for an Iowa State Senator.

  15. Andy Craig Post author

    How that exchange should have gone-

    Rand: “He’s buying and selling politicians!”
    Trump: “And I’m better at it than Jesse Benton.”

  16. Robert Capozzi

    RP1 had to know that he was unelectable. JB had to know that, too. It makes the whole thing mashugana.

    Then, again, we can read those newsletters to get that!

  17. paulie

    “He’s already hedging his bets” Rand says of Trump. Actually the only one hedging his bets is Rand Paul, who is running for President and running for Senator at the same time.

    “He buys and sells politicians” charges Rand Paul. Yes, but Trump knows better than to pay $300,000 for an Iowa State Senator.

    True. To be fair, Paul is correct about Trump hedging his bets about what party if any he will run with.

  18. paulie

    How that exchange should have gone-

    Rand: “He’s buying and selling politicians!”
    Trump: “And I’m better at it than Jesse Benton.”

    Indeed.

  19. paulie

    Trump’s Mini-me speaks out:

    Can’t fault him for trying to ride the Trump phenomenon as hard as he can, but come on… Trump is the opposite of libertarian.

  20. Gene Berkman

    Playing the game, yes. But also contributing to inflation. $300,000 for a rural politician in Iowa? When the dollar was stronger, you could buy a politician for 30 silver dollars.

  21. trying again

    Trump pointedly mentioned his “leverage” in this exchange. Presumably he would want a candidate credibly commited to immigration and trade reform and possibly a VP seat. He can’t negotiate that from gloablist vipers at RNC if he throws away the option right now. All of the FoxNews moderators were operating on RNC orders/

  22. trying again

    There’s a comment here about Trump being a warmonger. Trump bragged last night that he was the only one up there smart enough to have not supported the Iraq war in 2003. He’s also given recent interviews saying that he’s against all this tension that’s being put up against Russia right now.

  23. paulie

    From ontheisues.org:

    Donald Trump on Foreign Policy

    More sanctions on Iran; more support of Israel. (Jun 2015)
    China is our enemy; they’re bilking us for billions. (Dec 2011)
    When you love America, you protect it with no apologies. (Dec 2011)
    By 2027, tsunami as China overtakes US as largest economy. (Dec 2011)
    Criticized Buchanan’s view on Hitler as appeasement. (Jul 2000)
    Post-Cold War: switch from chess player to dealmaker. (Jul 2000)
    Support Russia, but with strings attached. (Jul 2000)
    China: lack of human rights prevents consumer development. (Jul 2000)
    Be tougher on China-we’re too eager to please. (Jul 2000)

    Donald Trump on Homeland Security

    Our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work; it’s 30 years old. (Jun 2015)
    Increased Veterans Day parade audience from 100 to 1 million. (Jun 2015)
    Defeat ISIS and stop Islamic terrorists. (Jan 2015)
    American interests come first; no apologies. (Dec 2011)
    All freedoms flow from national security. (Dec 2011)
    3% of GNP for military is too low. (Jul 2000)
    Missile defense is inappropriate; focus on terrorism. (Jul 2000)
    Prepare for bio-terrorism attack. (Jul 2000)

    Donald Trump on War & Peace

    Boots on the ground to fight ISIS. (Jun 2015)
    I said “don’t hit Iraq,” because it destabilized Middle East. (Jun 2015)
    Hit ISIS hard and fast. (Feb 2015)
    Take $1.5T in oil from Iraq to pay for US victims. (Mar 2013)
    Iraq should pick up the tab for their own liberation. (Dec 2011)
    Stop Iran’s nuclear programs by any & all means necessary. (Dec 2011)
    John McCain’s actions in Vietnam were not “heroic”. (Sep 2000)
    Use force to stop North Korean nuke development. (Jul 2000)
    Support Israel, our unsinkable Mideast aircraft carrier. (Jul 2000)
    No humanitarian intervention; only to direct threats. (Jul 2000)

    Sounds like a warmonger to me, and that’s even before you get to his trade bellicosity. When goods don’t cross borders, armies will.

  24. trying again

    Trump didn’t “call out” McCain on his war record. Trump was trying speak and that fat slob Frank Luntz interrupted with his whining and demands that Trump pay fealty to the “war hero” McCain. there was no “calling out” of McCain.

    (It is common knowledge that McCain was a terrible pilot at the bottom of his class, wrecked several planes and had no business flying the plane he incompetently crashed in the North Vietnamese jungle save that his daddy was fleet admiral. )

  25. paulie

    there was no “calling out” of McCain.

    Nice semantic games. Yes he did. Are you done wasting everyone’s time with your nonsense comments here yet?

  26. trying again

    Geez, you’re a touchy one. Just trying to be precise here. If you don’t like people pointing out your deceptive language, just try to be a more honest person.

  27. paulie

    There was nothing dishonest or deceptive about my language. And there’s no “people” “pointing it out,” just one troll character…speaking of deceptive language.

  28. trying again

    @ Pyeatt — trump is hostile to everyone who crosses. He’s been pretty hostile to the slob Frank Luntz today. Don’t fall for the cultural Marxist tactic of trying to turn that into some kind of sexist issue.

  29. Andy Craig Post author

    I think it’s kind of telling that none of the Randroids are piping up to take issue with Trump’s claim that he was “the only one on this stage” who opposed the Iraq War at the time. I would think it would be pretty easy to find some video clip or written statement from Rand circa 2002-2004 saying something to that effect.

    But I guess pointing that out would sound too much like Ron.

  30. paulie

    trump is hostile to everyone who crosses.

    Unless they are kissing his ass. Classic narcissistic prsonality dsorder.

    He’s been pretty hostile to …. Frank Luntz today.

    Because Luntz showed accurately in a focus group that Trump’s debate performance hurt him, including among people who were previously supporting him.

    cultural Marxist

    That’s an absolutely absurd phrase to anyone who has lived in a Marxist country or seen the inner workings of Marxist sects.

    turn that into some kind of sexist issue.

    See videos posted above. The sexism is rather undeniable. Even Faux News has noticed.

  31. trying again

    “Calling out” is simply not accurate. It falsely implies that Trump was going on the offensive, that he’s out to get somone on that topic. When in fact he wasn’t trying bring up McCain’s war record at all. The only way that’s not deceptive is if you have an extremely poor grasp of the English language. These are the same tactics we see on cable news every day against their targets.

  32. paulie

    I think it’s kind of telling that none of the Randroids are piping up to take issue with Trump’s claim that he was “the only one on this stage” who opposed the Iraq War at the time. I would think it would be pretty easy to find some video clip or written statement from Rand circa 2002-2004 saying something to that effect.

    Dunno about that. As far as I know Rand Paul was not in public life at that time at all. It’s entirely possible that no one bothered to save any statement he made on the issue at the time, if he even made one at all, and I would not necessarily assume he opposed the war in the beginning…he is after all as we all know most definitely not his father. But even if he did oppose the war I would not bet that there is necessarily any surviving record of that.

  33. paulie

    implies that Trump was going on the offensive,

    No, it doesn’t.

    you have an extremely poor grasp of the English language

    Well, I’m just an immigrant. I’ve been too busy murdering and raping to learn your language proficiently. I’ll try to take a little more time to get a better grasp of it, but we’ll see… so many people to rape and murder, so little time!

  34. trying again

    What kind of fucking moron believes in those staged FoxNews focus groups? LOL.

  35. trying again

    You may not like like the term “cultural marxism” and that’s fine. This is from a definition of the phenomenon I am speaking of:

    “Cultural Marxism places great emphasis on analyzing, controlling, and changing the popular culture, the popular discourse, the mass media, and the language itself. Seeing culture as often having more or less subconscious influences on people which create and sustain inequalities, cultural Marxists themselves often try to remove these inequalities by more or less subtle manipulation and censorship of culture.”

    “A term describing such censorship is political correctness where all views on equality that disagree with the cultural Marxist view are avoided, censored, and punished. ”

    So that is the kind of rhetorical bullshit engaged by Communists to tear down free societies that I was speaking of. What do you prefer to call it? “Communist bullshit” will work for me if you want. I’m not picky.

  36. Big Dawg

    Donald Trump is a false idol. He is a Hitlary Clinton plant who is actually a Democratic Socialist. He supports single payer and Hitlary went to his wedding with his wife/daughter Ivanka.

  37. trying again

    When has a Frank Luntz “focus group” on FoxNews ever NOT been a put-up job scripted by the RNC? It’s a scam to tell their stupid voters how to think. What kind of lame-ass “political radical” takes that crap seriously? No “independent” politics will be succesful buying in to mainstream bullshit like that.

  38. Big Dawg

    I agree that Frank Luntz is a fat slob. So is Chris Christie. He’s a fat p.o.s.

    Trump is a Democrat. He supports fag marriage, abortion on demand, progressive tax, and probably engages in incest with his hot daughter. He worships at the altar of the devil Howard Stern who throws transsexual “beauty” pageants where the participants show off their balls, penises and fake tits.

    Donald Trump got a phone call from Bill Clinton right before he announced. I wonder what that was about? Consider that The Trumpster gave a fortune to the Clintons and praised them throughout the Clinton presidency. He’s a loyal supporter. He sucks the globalist cock of Hitlary Clenis. And he’s fooled you.

    Watchman please come back to the fold. Support Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Nathan Norman. Fight the forces of the globalist faggots working to feminize this nation.

  39. paulie

    I agree that Frank Luntz is a fat slob. So is Chris Christie

    Well, at least you and “trying (too hard) again” agree on the important things in life.

    fag … faggots

    Watch it, Nathan. You’re here on a trial basis only, only to put “trying again” to the trial. But bigoted slurs will get you tossed out again in a hurry.

    Your deplorable language aside, I think you may actually be right about Trump working with the Clintons behind the scenes. But then again it’s not impossible that he could double cross them and make a play to actually win.

  40. Big Dawg

    Donald Trump claims he speaks his mind. He gets talking points from the Clinton machine. Nathan Norman actually speaks his mind. Big Dawg speaks his mind too. He represents the strong African American support Nathan Norman and Rand Paul’s campaigns get.

  41. paulie

    Uh huh, sure. I’ve been working in the mostly African-American community in Bessemer, Alabama for the last few months, talking to hundreds of voters a day, and most of them have been telling me that what they are really looking for is a candidate who uses terms like “Nigress” and brags about his (no doubt imaginary) “Aryan” girlfriend. Most of them are also big fans of Newt Gingrich, as you might imagine.

  42. Andy Craig Post author

    Paulie is right that the particular example (Trump alienated some viewers) could have been obtained from a neutral and fair focus group.

    But it is Frank Luntz we’re talking about. True and accurate result or not, he’s literally the archetypal example of the sleazy pollster who will push the psychological buttons and stack the audience to get exactly the result he wants.

  43. paulie

    Results I’ve seen elsewhere are mixed. Hard to imagine that Trump won any significant number of new fans in the debate, but he probably did cost himself the support of some people who are also Megyn Kelly/Faux News fans and were fans of his before he took Megyn and Faux on. Another guy in the focus group said he liked Trump for being a straight talker, but was disappointed to see Trump sidestep questions in the debate just like any squirmy politician. I’m sure he is not the only former Trump fan to have noticed this. See for instance http://reason.com/blog/2015/08/07/that-time-when-donald-trump-praised-sing

  44. Robert Capozzi

    pf: So you are in the Ron wrote them himself camp?

    me: No. I think that campaigns and collective enterprises generally reflect the will of the leader. RP1 and 2 both have shown poor judgment in who is in their inner circles. That poor judgment leads to a colossal gaffes.

    Rogue operatives who are overzealous and off-the-reservation antics are understandable. But now we are seeing a pattern of roguish behavior.

  45. paulie

    http://think3institute.blogspot.com/ :

    A populist revolt against Fox News?

    I get to hear first-hand opinion from right-wingers at my job and what I’ve heard since last night echoes reports like this one about dissatisfaction with the Republican presidential debate on Fox News. The general complaint seems to be that the Fox panel asked too many “gotcha” questions of the candidates. While some assume that Donald Trump was the principal target, disgust seems widespread among followers of many candidates. The prevailing feeling is that events like this debate are the candidates’ main opportunity to make their positions known to the wider public while differentiating themselves from their rivals. Seen that way, moderators and panelists only seem to get in the way. They’re assumed to be self-serving or biased for or against particular candidates. Some take it for granted, for instance, that the Republican “establishment” (whatever that is at this point) was using Fox to try to break Trump or at least blunt his momentum. Especially with ten people on the podium, it’s understandable if audiences feel that the candidates were denied the fullest opportunity to define themselves rather than be defined, presumably, by panelists’ questions. If this feeling persists, it will represent a dramatic reversal in the status of Fox News within the Republican/conservative movement, or else it will show that many of us, including the people at Fox, misunderstood its status. To me it seemed that Fox aspired to represent “conservatism” rather than the Republican party. Its virtue, for those who found it virtuous, seemed to be that its popular prime-time commentators could hold Republicans accountable to the conservative movement. In the minds of Roger Ailes and the other leading figures at Fox, the news channel probably was meant to serve the same role for today’s conservative movement that National Review magazine played sixty years ago. It would insist on ideological soundness while guarding against crazy extremes. National Review and its founder William F. Buckley were credited for Republican repudiation of conspiracy mongers like the John Birch Society, while Fox News presumably made a similar statement when it did away with Glenn Beck’s program. The Republican party is having a “populist” moment, however, as indicated by the fresh surge of interest in Donald Trump, and populism abhors gatekeepers. Trump supporters in particular seem to think that Fox is part of an “establishment” whose inferred hostility to their man makes Fox part of the problem — perhaps because even there some civility is expected — rather than part of the solution. The Birchers of the 1960s probably felt the same way about Buckley and National Review, but gatekeeping was more effective back then, while it’s more difficult now to relegate anyone to a harmless fringe. But there’s more than one way to look at the debate over the debate. The positive, populist interpretation is that supporters of Trump and other insurgents simply resent a perceived effort to suppress voices that need to be heard. The other side of the story is that some people feel that no one, not even so supposedly trusted an institution as Fox News, has a right to question their idol’s worthiness to lead. If the debate proved anything, it’s that on some level Fox remains committed to journalism as opposed to exclusive partisan cheerleading, as it was back on Election Night 2012 when reporters humiliated Karl Rove for denying their statistical projections of an Obama victory. It may also hint now, if not prove in retrospect, that more than Fox News itself, the Fox News audience is a Frankenstein monster destined to turn on its creator.

    I observe Faux News and Trump bloody each other from the sidelines with mild amusement, and a sporting desire to see them hit each other hard and repeatedly; to me it’s just a larger scale equivalent of an argument, say, between a Nathan “Big Dawg” Norman and a “trying (too hard) again.”

  46. langa

    I didn’t watch the debate, but I must say that in the clip posted above, Trump came off much better than Rand.

  47. paulie

    Agreed. On the other hand, in the clip of Trump vs Megyn Kelly I think she comes off better, and Randal was better than Christie in their exchange from a substance viewpoint, although stylewise I think it was a draw. Kelly outclassed Trump on both style and substance, but to the hardcore Trump fans he only increased his cred with his ugly reply.

  48. Jill Pyeatt

    I continue to be stunned at the mindless support of Trump that I read about on FB. Our country is full of really icky people.

  49. paulie

    He just got tossed from the RedState gathering for suggesting Megyn Kelly was on the rag (or maybe had Ebola?) during the debate.

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