Sedona AZ (August 8, 2015) The first Fox News debate wasn’t about Trump vs. the other nine debaters. It was Trump vs. the Republican establishment and the Conservative talking heads it controls – Fox anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.
Right from Jump Street they launched the attack when Fox moderator Bret Baier asked the debaters to raise their hand if they would not pledge to support and not run against the chosen candidate.
There was an audible gasp in the audience when the loaded question was asked.
The first punch wasn’t a jab or a feint. It was a full-weighted right hand to the Trump’s jaw thrown with ill-intention by the Fox inquisitor at the bell. It was a total set up.
Trump was cornered. If he did not raise his hand he would look like a coward. If he did he would be looked upon as a traitor to the party.
It was the kind of thing a small-town newspaper would do to a candidate they didn’t like in a close election the day before the voting starts, smacking him with a vicious editorial and not giving the victim a chance to respond.
It was dirty. Nasty — a stroke of genius on the part of those who set the question up.
If the gambit worked the audience would hate him and discount anything else Trump would say for the rest of the debate, hopefully forever.
Trump did not go down.
He wobbled. But that was the best punch they threw all night and he shook it off.
Trump, faking cool and composed, smiling, explained it was a matter of respect whether he would support a candidate or not. He stuck to his guns.
“I must say I have to respect the person if it’s not me,” he said, affirming his rock-solid intention to win.
The media did not pick up on the caveat. Some in the audience did, enough to give him time to rest on the ropes.
Then Kelly tried to whack him with accusations he mistreats women and calls them names.
Trump parries by making a joke about it being only Rosie O’Donnell he calls names, much to the delight of the crowd and Kelly’s chagrin.
“I’ve been attacked by so many people. Frankly, I don’t have time for political correctness,” he says, which gets another rise from the crowd. He makes it clear the country is losing and has no time for political correctness either.
Then he takes a shot across the bow at Kelly, letting her know she’s not being nice to him and if he wished he would not be nice to her either. He must have changed his mind considering his recent claim that “She had blood in her eyes or wherever” when she came at him.
At this point in the debate Trump does not consider any of the debaters his adversary. Rather, the moderators became the opponent. They disrespected him and now it’s time for them to pay.
Wallace takes his shot. He brings up Trump’s comment on the Mexican Government sending its undesirables to America and mentions Bush’s disparaging remarks about Trump’s comment. He orders Trump to face Bush and directly respond to Bush’s comments, hoping to get them into a fight.
Trump sidesteps and zooms in on Wallace.
“If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t even be talking about it, Chris,” Trump chides. Then he goes on to pontificate the percieved-dire necessity for the wall, which scores more points as the audience eats it up.
Bret comes at him again. He throws a stiff jab at Trump, questioning the billionaire’s Conservative credentials because of his financial support for Democrats in the past. Again, Trump uses the question to push his agenda.
“When they call I give,” he said, making clear that he gives cash to both sides of the aisle and that he receives respect in return. He finishes by revealing he has given contributions to most everyone on stage with him, further cementing his point.
Wallace steps in and throws a last-gasp right hook, bringing up Trump’s bankruptcies and the loss of billions by investors, insinuating Trump’s track record is an indication Trump could bankrupt the country should he be elected.
Trump uses the question as an opening to cow Wallace once and for all.
“You are out of touch,” Trump says to Wallace at the end of his tirade on his right to use the country’s laws to continue providing value for all, educating Wallace on how the big boys in finance play. A cut-away to Wallace’s face reveals a very stunned and humbled Fox commentator.
The three Fox inquisitors did their very best to trip up and discredit Trump but by the end of the debate they had failed miserably.
The moderators believed their bully pulpit would protect them from Trump and ensure obedience by the others but Trump saw right through their strategy and turned the tables.
Trump took on the illusionary authority figures. There were two debates: the one between the candidates and the one between Trump and Republican establishment Fox mouthpieces.
He took no guff from them. He put them in their place with well-aimed barbs, saving one for Rand Paul when Paul took a shot at him.
“You are having a hard time tonight,” he said to the shrinking candidate, who appeared to be on the edge of hysteria through most of the debate.
No matter how hard the moderators tried to mad dog the other candidates to attack Trump, they couldn’t, except for poor Paul, who got minced.
Neither Christy nor Bush dared throw a punch. Neither did most of the others. They knew better, grateful that Trump was the real target of the Fox moderators and intelligent enough not to risk humiliation from a Trump retaliation.
And poor Megyn, she thought she had him with the misogyny question but instead he turned the tables. Boom! People were laughing at her. You could see it in her face after a replay. She knew she was trumped. Then she gets insulted a few days later for her obvious prejudice and feeble attempt to take him down.
We can expect to see more of the same attacks and aspersions thrown at Trump as the Republican political establishment becomes ever more fearful of this flamboyant-political anomaly threatening to tear their fiefdom apart.
All Republicans are not necessarily hard-core Conservatives and the landscape is changing as more and more mainstream Republicans come to grips with the realities of today’s world — like the value of medical marijuana and protecting the environment; alternative medicine and holistic approaches; caring for those less fortunate.
Trump has his finger on their pulse and this is why those who pull the party’s strings have to take him down once and for all now before it’s too late.
Trump can’t be bought.
Trump can’t be controlled.
Trump can’t be intimidated.
They got a problem.
On the subject of Donald Trump, First he is a business man. Second, he is an entertainer and now because of the state our country is in, Mr. Trump, finds himself being pulled into something he feels he has to do because of the love he has for his country. No one amasses the business know how and wealth this man has by being stupid, arrogant, and self centered. We all walk through life with many faces. And Mr. Trump knows how to use all of his extremely well. What Mr. Trump pulled off the other night was nothing more than a strategy. He put the GOP on notice, basically telling them, there will be no playing games this time. I guess he feels if your going to make him do this, the GOP this time will play by the rules of the people, not the same old Washington BS. As it stands right now, Mr. Trump is the wrench that was left in the well oiled machine of the GOP. In my evaluation, of the Trump effort, he has all of their attention. When asked if you rather be loved or feared, I believe we all know the answer. This country needs that right answer now.
It’s obvious you and the author are of the same ilk. You are both so naive to think Trump stands a snowflake’s chance in hell of making it to the election. Trump is being used by big oil to make the Republican dual interesting but when they are done with him he will be thrown away like used toilet paper. Wake up Mr. Tramontano. You and Mr. Acosta obviously must have grown up where the average IQ is below 50.
This is a distraction from the fact that all of the national and swing state polls show Trump being beaten by any of the DemocRat candidates in a general election. The only way to avoid an effective third term of King Hussein by the election of another DemocRat is for the Republicans to choose a sensible nominee. And for the “Right Wing” of the Republican Party that seems so enamored with Mr. Trump, they might want to consider the reasons why Erick Erickson canceled his speaking engagement, why Glenn Beck calls him an SOB and why Trump’s campaign manager fired him, quitting after Trump’s bloody outburst and Tweets. Time to get real, people, if you don’t want Hillary back in the White House.
Trump is a loose cannon who can’t even control his mouth! Why would anyone believe he can control our country? Is he going to sue France for the usual $500 million if they aren’t “nice” to him? When was he ever “nice” to anyone?
I really like what he says about many topics. Is there some way we can convince him he doesn’t have to fight with everyone in sight, so we can really support him?
What a brilliant article. SO well written. I had to look twice to make sure it wasn’t a re-tread of an article from a huge paper, but no, it was written in Sedona.Tommy Acosta is good!I would like to meet him on one of my visits to Sedona where I grew up. His article nailed how Trump appeared to the audience and what happened. I loved the debate. I am a liberal and I thought Trump was the entertaining and tough one. Without him, the debate would have been very dull. I hear that Roget Ailes told Meghan Kelly to take Trump down and she made a good try. I hope Trump is the nominee for the entertainment factor. I can’t think anyone would take him too seriously, though he is a nice guy in real life apparently and of course a good businessman. But he would be a disaster as President in my view. I hope he runs against Hillary. I hope. I hope.
Responding to the couple of contacts that wanted to know if I’m the same “Eddie” that posted a comment here.
The answer is “No, I am not.”
Interesting reaction on Twitter to Megyn Kelly’s performance.
Twitter Users Blast Fox News’ Megyn Kelly
…to bring up the PC Mag article.
Ironically, if you watch The Kelly File, she’s always saying, “Twitter me. I want to know what you think.”
Remember that old warning — be careful what you wish for?
I really enjoyed reading your translation of the debate , swing by swing.
It is shocking that Fox is trying to publicly take down the very people it should be supporting. If Fox just stuck to the facts, the rest would work itself out.
Your article should be picked up by a major publication.
Nicely written, Tommy Acosta.
I noticed that Jeb Bush got softball questions – and his answers were well rehearsed. Cruz almost morphed into a reptilian right before our very eyes.
Why was Fox so hard on Trump? Could it be that they are the ninth largest donor to the Clintons over the past two decades? Follow the money.
PS It’s RAND Paul, not Ron.
OK, I admit it. I only like Trump because he’s hated SO MUCH by CBS, CNN, Faux News, the Democrats and Republicans, NBC, ABC, Israel, the New York Times, Washington Post, JP Morgan, Chase, and Goldman Sachs.
Megyn Kelly said, “I won’t apologize for good journalism.” Oh, so that’s what she calls it.
Megyn Kelly never asked Chris Christie about “Bridgegate.” Megyn Kelly never asked Scott Walker about allegations that he was part of a scheme for illegally coordinated fundraising, or his campaign against public workers as governor. Megyn Kelly didn’t ask Rick Perry about his recent indictment for coercing a public official. Megyn Kelly didn’t ask Carla Fiorina about how she almost ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground while CEO. Megyn Kelly didn’t ask Mike Huckabee about his molestation scandal. Megyn Kelly didn’t ask Ted Cruz about the fact that he is not a “natural-born citizen” and therefore not legally allowed to run for President. Megyn Kelly did not ask Rand Paul about the indictment of three of his top associates. There was a rich harvest of “Good journalism” arrayed on stage for Megyn Kelly to pick and choose from, but her venom was aimed at Donald Trump and only at Donald Trump.