When there is a presidential debate of any kind, you usually expect the fireworks to fly. But after Thursday’s Republican debate, which was filled with acrimony and venom, the fireworks have gotten even brighter and more brilliant, for lack of a better term.
It all started when Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly went after Donald Trump about his attitude towards women. While during the debate, it didn’t really amount to all that much, the aftermath has quickly become the Main Event, the only thing missing is Michael Buffer.
It all started on Friday morning when Trump remarked about Kelly “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” The uproar can still be heard more than 48 hours later.
As we mentioned in a previous article, Trump was uninvited from the RedState Gathering, a conservative event featuring GOP presidential hopefuls this weekend in Atlanta. Trump was scheduled to give the keynote speech Saturday night.
That isn’t the only conservative group that had issue with Trump’s comments. Penny Young Nance, who is the CEO of the group Concerned Women for America told CNN that Trump’s “tantrum was even more enlightening than his original remarks she questioned. Does he have a problem with women?” Nance asked in a statement Saturday morning. “Three wives would suggest that yes, maybe there’s a problem.”
Of course, Republican hopefuls who were all behind Trump in the polls were quick to jump, like jackals to a carcass left by a lion.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said “I would certainly never say anything about a person like that, and I hope he apologizes because I think that he should.”
The only woman on the GOP ticket Carly Fiorina slammed Trump in a tweet saying “Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse. I stand with @MegynKelly.”
Then South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham jumped in “As a party, we are better to risk losing without Donald Trump than trying to win with him. Enough already with Mr. Trump.”
Then the Republican voters themselves couldn’t help but voice opinions over one of the most polarizing politicians we have seen in recent memory.
At the RedState Gathering, where Trump was supposed to be, people seemed to either love or hate the man.
Susan Wasielewski of Rosewell, Georgia said “(The comments) were just totally reprehensible. There’s no room for that, and there’s no room for a candidate like that to become president of the United States. … I think he’s taken himself out of the race.”
But the other side of the coin was heard from too, when Mary Howard of Indianapolis said “They twisted what the words were, because they’re trying to destroy him. The GOP is really afraid of him and they are going to do anything to discredit him.”
Even Trump’s top political adviser Roger Stone has had a split with Donald. He was either fired, or he quit, depending on who you believe.
The word from Trump’s campaign is “Mr. Trump fired Roger Stone last night. We have a tremendously successful campaign and Roger wanted to use the campaign for his own personal publicity. He has had a number of articles about him recently and Mr. Trump wants to keep the focus of the campaign on how to Make America Great Again.”
Meanwhile Stone totally denies he was fired, as he claims he quit tweeting out “Sorry @realDonaldTrump didn’t fire me- I fired Trump. Diasagree [sic] with diversion to food fight with @megynkelly away core issue messages.”
But I think most shocking of all were the comments from FOX and Newscorp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, who not only praised his people, but issued words of warning for the Donald when he said “(Bret) Baier, Kelly, (Chris) Wallace great job Thursday. Fine journalism, no more, no less. Friend Donald has to learn this is public life.”
But all is not well within Murdoch’s FOX family, as political pundit and host of the “FOX News and Commentary” radio show Todd Starnes was actually not a fan of the job Kelly did at all.
Apparently, he thought that being a conservative network host meant that when conservatives were on the firing line, she should have served up softballs instead of hardball.
As the debate continued, Starnes went on a Twitter witch hunt after Kelly with the following tweets about some of the questions she was asking:
Megyn Kelly: “Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion?” Are you freaking kidding me? #GOPDebate
That abortion question — disgusting. #GOPDebate
And here comes the gay marriage gotcha section….#GOPDebate
But Starnes was not finished there. No, not by a longshot. The day after the debate he continued his one man crusade against Kelly saying in a video he released:
“There were indeed lots of pressing issues raised last night, like whether Scott Walker would really let a mother die rather than have an abortion, or whether Donald Trump is a misogynist, or whether John Kasich would love his daughters if they were gay. Now, I don’t want to rehash all the stuff that was hashed last night, but I would like to leave you with this one very important thought. I want you to know something: You have a friend at the Fox News corner of the world, conservatives have a friend, and we friends stick together.”
If there is this much division WITHIN the Republican Party, when they finally choose their candidate, will the rest of the party be able to get behind them enough to defeat whomever the Democrats put out there?
Doesn’t their petty bickering also give the Democrats fodder for when they do battle for the most powerful position in the country? I think the GOP needs to do a better job of acting like the elephant, and not the other party’s symbol.