On Friday, Donald Trump said that Fox News's Megyn Kelly had it out for him during the first Republican presidential debate. And he had a theory as to why. "She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," Trump told CNN. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her... wherever."
Well before Republicans officially lost the 2012 election, leaders of the party, along with Mitt Romney’s campaign strategists and countless conservative opinion-makers, understood just how damaging the presidential nominating process had been for them. The gravest damage came from an unconstrained series of 20 debates, which pit candidates against each other in a madcap dash to win the hearts of audiences that booed gay soldiers and cheered at the notion that society should allow uninsured citizens to die.
One argument for dismissing Donald Trump's rise is that we've seen this movie — or at least this trashy reality show — before. The GOP base had a series of embarrassing flings in the 2008 primary, falling in and out of love with a list of unlikely candidates. There's no real reason to believe the flirtation with Trump will be any more lasting. As evidence, the Washington Post's Philip Bump tweeted this chart, which places Trump's rise in context of the temporary leads Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry secured in 2012:
Every political analyst, every political observer, every politician is absolutely sure that Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016. And we’re all absolutely sure that Donald Trump is not going to be sworn in as president on January 20, 2017. Could we all be wrong? So far, every poll seems to only be giving...
It looks like Donald Trump's presidential campaign is going to be with us for a little while longer, and probably through the first Republican debate. At some point, then, it becomes impossible to avoid talking about Trump's policies — yes, even his foreign policy. Trump doesn't really like talking about policy, and he doesn't have what you might call a clear policy agenda. But there is one quote that really gets to the core of his foreign policy worldview and what a Trump administration foreign policy would look like. Here it is, from a 2011 TV appearance (emphasis mine):
On consecutive days last week, two Republican senators, both of whom are hoping to be the next President, released videos in which they destroyed stuff. First, Rand Paul went at a pile of paper, which he said was the United States tax code, with fire, a wood chipper, and a chain saw. (He wore safety goggles—he may be against regulations, but he’s also an ophthalmologist.) The next day saw Lindsey Graham attacking his Samsung flip phone with a cleaver, a blender, and a golf club. He also dropped a concrete block on it, threw it off a roof, and doused it with lighter fluid and ignited it. These videos suggest that Fox News, which is co-hosting the first G.O.P.
In one corner: Donald Trump, the mud-slinging mogul with a complicated hairdo and a flair for the dramatic. In the other: Nine other U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls who wish Trump wasn't standing among them. That's the unfolding scenario for the Republicans' first televised debate in Cleveland on Aug. 6.
It appears to be sinking in with top Republicans that the upcoming GOP debate, featuring star performer Donald Trump, could prove to be a full-blown disaster. Politico has this amusing report:
Wealthy TV star Donald Trump, who in recent years has been best known for saying, "You're fired!" to people who don't work for him, is not just running for the Republican nomination — he's leading the polls. Worryingly, Trump seems to owe his success in large part to the political nativism he has embraced. In the speech he made to launch his campaign, he explicitly accused Mexican immigrants of being "rapists," and claimed they were the source of crime and disease in the US, saying, "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists." This been a continuous theme of his campaign. On July 11, he held a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, which Slate referred to as the "single most anti-immigrant event of the year."
Donald Trump entertained the idea of a presidential run in 1988, mulled it over in 2000, seriously considered it in 2004. In 2014, he threatened, very briefly, to run for Governor of New York. On Tuesday, standing on the basement floor of the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in front of eight American flags, Trump promised the game of pretend is over: “I am officially running for President of the United States. And we are going to make our country great again.”
New York's attorney general accused Donald Trump in a lawsuit Saturday of defrauding students who studied at the billionaire mogul's investment institute, though Trump's representative said a large majority of the school's alumni were satisfied with their experience. The $40 million civil suit alleges Trump made false claims about the school, including that he was personally involved in selecting instructors and creating the curriculum.
It may have drawn two presidential aspirants, three elected officials, a few dozen political reporters and even Donald Trump, but the Family Leader conference in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday was not a political rally. Instead, it provided a complete cultural road map for attendees, who included many pastors. The purpose wasn’t to encourage those in the audience to vote a certain way; instead, as event organizer Bob Vander Plaats said, it was to “equip our base with a worldview so we can say why we do believe what we believe to be true.”