The Republican primary landscape is poised for a seismic shift, with Donald Trump’s stranglehold appearing increasingly irreversible. Fox News is treating this week’s debate as a make-or-break moment for the remaining contenders.
Fox News anchor Dana Perino, in anticipation of Wednesday’s debate, emphasized the urgency for the candidates. Their supporters and donors are yearning for a breakout performance, she explained.
Take on Trump?
In a twist from the previous August debate, where Democratic President Joe Biden bore the brunt of criticism, Perino suggested that this time, the path to success might involve taking on Trump himself. She underscored that while all candidates may align in their criticism of Biden, the key to a breakout moment lies in articulating their vision for a superior presidency, whether compared to the present one or to past Republican administrations.
Rally in Detroit
Notably, Trump will be conspicuously absent, leaving him vulnerable to any potential attacks from his rivals. Instead of attending the second debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, the former president has opted for his own rally in Detroit. There, he plans to address a gathering of more than 500 union workers representing diverse trades, including autoworkers, amid the ongoing UAW strike. This event further underscores the shifting dynamics of the Republican primary race.
A Spoiled Brat?
Donald Trump’s decision to skip the debate, much like his prior absence from the first one, was hardly unexpected, especially considering the setting. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, mere days before the event, had voiced their rather unflattering opinions, likening him to a “spoiled brat in a sandbox” and even drawing parallels to the infamous fictional character Voldemort.
Dana Perino highlighted a significant faction within the Republican party yearning for an alternative to the current frontrunners, Trump and Biden. The debate platform serves as an essential venue for these aspiring presidential hopefuls to showcase their qualifications and convince the masses that they could lead the nation more effectively than Trump.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t hold back his criticism, directed particularly at the first debate’s moderators, Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier. Christie’s discontent stemmed from their handling of certain questions, most notably one concerning UFOs, and their role in managing the debate stage.
Interestingly, the first debate in Milwaukee managed to attract a respectable 12.8 million viewers for Fox News. However, while this certainly showcased an audience eager to engage with GOP candidates beyond Trump, it failed to surpass the viewer count of the initial GOP debate back in August 2015, during Trump’s initial foray into presidential politics.
It remains to be seen whether this renewed interest will translate into high ratings for Fox in the upcoming debate, as Dana Perino cautiously pointed out. Yet, there’s an underlying sentiment among many voters who are fervently wishing to avoid a 2024 Biden-Trump rematch.
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.