Trump tanks with Fox focus group; attorney pegs it as big set-up by network to take him down

focusDonald Trump’s in-your-face style, which excited voters as he blazed onto the campaign trail, may have backfired when he was put to the test during Thursday’s Republican presidential debate.

Trump went onto Fox News’ debate stage at the top of the top-tier GOP contenders, but his lead didn’t last long, according to pollster Frank Luntz, who led a Republican focus group on Fox’s “The Kelly File” immediately after the debate.

“You know what happened?” began one viewer. “I liked him when I came in here because he wasn’t a politician. But right now? He skirted around questions better than a life-long politician ever had.”

“I was expecting him to do a lot better, but he just crashed and burned. He was mean, he was angry, he had no specifics,” said another.

Luntz indicated the group’s reaction meters showed a very negative response right out of the gate, when Trump refused to rule out running for president as a third-party candidate.

Opinions of Trump’s performance didn’t get much better from there.

“He let me down. I just expected him to rise to the occasion and look presidential. He didn’t.”

But don’t expect Trump’s camp to lie down and take the beating. Michael Cohen, executive vice president of Trump’s campaign, came out swinging.

Cohen had a lot of support from those who thought the debate was a Fox News setup to take out Trump.

Related:

Disappointed with Fox debate moderators: ‘Juan Williams couldn’t have been worse’

Nicole Haas

Nicole Haas

"Nicole Haas is an author, activist, and writer of all things parenting, pop culture and politics. She seeks to champion truth and liberty with the hope that her children and future generations have a fighting chance."
Nicole Haas

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