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Donald Trump won Thursday’s Fox News/Facebook presidential debate.
If one were to employ a baseball analogy for the event, Trump’s nine adversaries in the Republican debate were lobbed questions like an office softball team might face slow pitches at a neighborhood game. Trump, conversely, faced the likes of the great Cleveland Indians pitcher Gaylord Perry firing spitballs.
Now, let’s not forget, most Americans on the right of the political aisle deem Fox News a paragon of today’s media, yet the debate Thursday may have indicated an agenda. Trump is unhappy, and rightly so.
Whether the victim of inappropriate questions or being drenched by relentless moderator innuendo, the “Art of the Deal” author’s treatment was weighted in Fox’s favor.
Trump’s ire at debate moderators Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Brett Baier isn’t unexpected. Trump was certainly the reason for Fox’s high ratings. He was the draw and the star of the show, and Fox’s telecast generated the highest viewer rating in its 20-year history, based on Nielsen, with 24 million viewers.
Despite the network’s perceived bias against the front-runner during the debate, as of Friday Trump remained the top pick for Americans, per Drudge, Breitbart, Time Magazine and other online polling media.
Consider what happened. Right off the bat came the third-party question, undeniably intended for Trump. Trump’s answer showed he puts his country over a political party. He was resolute to this end, not willing to support a hypothetical candidate before that candidate’s intent and purpose are delineated.
On immigration, responding to Wallace, Trump stated what is fact: “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration, Chris.”
Trump has elevated the immigration issue from a state-centric narrative in Texas and Arizona to the national spotlight.
On donating to Democrat front-runner Hilary Clinton, Trump alluded to the fact that he doesn’t support how she used his donation.
“I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world, but it was.”
Trump admits he gives to candidates, charities, countries and communities because he’s in business. This is a part of U.S. culture that all of the presidential candidates accept and adopt in practice.
When it came to Trump’s corporate bankruptcy history, he unapologetically responded, “Four times I’ve taken advantage of the laws, and frankly, so has everyone else in my position.” The candidate cited where he’s made money, and can make money, and ended his response matter-of-factly: “This country owes $19 trillion, and they need somebody like me to straighten out that mess.”
Fox’s Megyn Kelly queried Trump about past comments regarding women. Perhaps his biggest score of the evening, absolutely and unwaveringly, was Trump’s response: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.”
He added that the quotes Kelly cited were more than less in jest, but ultimately what he says is just that: what he says.
Granted, there are many months left for pundits and castigators to attack Trump. Be forewarned, however, because Donald Trump has staying power. He has tenacity. His photo is next to the word “grit” in the dictionary. Trump may just be the remedy to a failing economy, weakened military, laughable foreign policy and depleted resource development plan under the current administration.
As he concluded in one of his debate answers, “This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China; we lose to Mexico, both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody.”
For Donald Trump, it’s not about a global popularity contest for the United States, but rather about earning respect while raising stock value.
Thursday’s debate was the U.S. TV audience’s bird’s-eye view at who has backbone in the Republican presidential field. Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. John Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson deserve honorable mention, but it was Donald Trump who faced the big league and hit the home run — against the odds, considering the treatment he received.
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