Even though history to the contrary exists, Fox moderators are saying Thursday’s Republican debate on Fox News will be puting the presidential above the personal… Wouldn’t we like to see that happen…. but will it?
During the Fox-sponsored debate in August, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was irked by a question from Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Antagonism mushroomed to the point where Trump skipped a Fox debate in January amid accusations of mistreatment by Fox.
Thursday’s moderators said they do not plan to cover old ground.
“Frankly, I have been ready for seven months to move beyond what happened after that August debate,” Kelly said in a recent interview. “I feel like it’s getting boring. Trump has bigger things to worry about, and so do I.”
Kelly said she has not prepared her response if Trump takes a personal shot at her. “I have my questions,” she said. “That’s all I need.”
Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter downplays the chances of a Kelly-Trump rematch.
“I think the stakes are very different for Donald Trump now versus last August in that first Fox News debate,” Guthrie said. “He needs to appear presidential. He’s been running on his persona — I think he realizes now is the time to get serious, drill down a little bit more on the issues.”
Thursday’s debate follows one a week ago in which policy took second place to personal attacks. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, one of Thursday’s hosts, called the debate an “embarrassment” to Republicans.
The three “seemed hell-bent on taking out each other on a lot of fairly minor points,” he said, “rather than discussing issues that affect people’s lives.”
Kelly said that the debate will focus on positions the candidates have taken.
“They will have to own those positions or try to wiggle out,” she said. “But there is not that much wiggle room left on some of these things.”
“We will let the contrasts and the conversations between candidates go,” said Fox moderator Bret Baier. “But there will be some balance. That’s what it’s always about, not letting it get off the rails.”
It would be very nice to see them stick to the issues this round…it would be a service to their country if they did.