24 million people watched The Fox News 2016 GOP Candidate debut debate making the August 6 prime time debate, the highest rated cable news show program ever. And what is the sound-bite of the evening, the subject on everyone’s lips? Donald Trump. Trump, who went into the debate as the front-runner, is under fire for making what many view as a derogatory misogynist comment against Fox News Host Megyn Kelly, who was one of the debate’s moderators, during a post-debate interview on CNN. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” Trump said, a comment perceived by many to be a reference to a woman’s menstrual cycle. The comment was made in response to some of the tough questioning which Kelly directed towards Trump during the debate including specific questions about his past public remarks about women including comedian and former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell.
While the Trump campaign has denied the “menstrual cycle” verbiage intention, most people aren’t buying the denial. The interesting thing is that if Trump had not made that comment about Kelly or had chosen a different phraseology to launch the barb, the post-debate conversation would be very different. It would be something along the lines of “Trump did okay at the debate, but he didn’t win the night or gain any new ground.” It makes you wonder if post-debate the Donald went on CNN to try to garner a few more headlines for himself.
The fall-out from the Trump attack on Ms. Kelly has continued to unfold over the last few days, but the public playout of the debate aftermath is just giving Trump more press coverage. It remains to be seen if his campaign will suffer irrevocable harm. Redstate.com’s Erick Erickson rescinded the invitation for Trump to speak at Erickson’s Saturday conference, a conservative event where virtually every GOP candidate was on the speaker roster. “I don’t want my daughter in the room with Donald Trump tonight, so he’s not invited,” Erickson said. “If our standard-bearer has to resort to that, then we need a new standard-bearer.” Erickson told the crowds at the Red State Gathering in Atlanta. Interestingly enough, Erickson’s decision had mixed reviews. While many applauded his decision, some were disappointed at Trump’s exclusion. Furthermore, Erickson has his own past history of making inappropriate comments about women such as calling first lady Michelle Obama a “marxist harpy” and Texas politician Wendy Davis who lost the state’s governor’s race last fall “abortion Barbie”. In addition, Trump’s top campaign advisor, Roger Stone resigned from the campaign citing Trump’s “current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights” as the reason for his departure. For their part, the Trump camp says that Stone was fired, that he did not resign of his own accord.
Former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP 2016 race responded by scolding Trump on Twitter “Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse,” she tweeted, adding: “I stand with @MegynKelly.” The other GOP candidates also publically decried Trump’s comments. One notable exception was Ted Cruz who refused to take the bait when questioned about Trump’s comments about Kelly. Cruz just said that the decision to revoke Trump’s invitation to the Red State Gathering was “Red State’s decision to make”. However once again, the other 16 candidates who want to use events like the Red State event and media interviews to get their own campaign messages out are being forced by the media to deliver an opinion about Donald Trump. Their personal agendas are taking a backseat to the Trump debacle.
My prediction is that the Trump campaign will survive this brouhaha. The Donald’s team may recruit his former wife Ivana, his daughters Ivanka and Tiffany and other women who have been employed by Trump Enterprises to speak in his defense. Or in the typical Donald fashion, he may just “roll with the punches” and go on the talk shows with his signature bravado. And while he may apologize for how people interpreted his comments about Megyn Kelly, you can be sure that he is not going to apologize for making them.
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