Fun stuff here, and significant of a healthy bit of opportunism by Cruz.
Trump had demanded Fox News not have Megyn Kelly moderate the debate in Des Moines due to the unpleasantness of the exchange between them in the last Fox News debate – which began when she asked him pointed questions about his past sexist statements and continued on to his making a veiled but obvious reference to her menstrual cycle being the cause.
Trump says Megyn Kelly is biased and he demanded she be pulled. Fox said that wouldn’t be happening, so now Trump says he’s going to take his ball and go home – and put on a town hall event to compete with the Fox News debate. Which from a marketing standpoint is a fairly shrewd idea, considering that Trump’s value proposition as a GOP primary candidate is that he’s ahead in the polls, that he brings eyeballs, that he’s the best brand in the race and so on. Were Trump to get better ratings for his town hall than Fox News got for its debate without him, that would be a feather in the cap of his narrative.
So along comes Cruz with a better idea. Rather than a town hall, why not a head to head debate? Cruz vs. Trump, with Mark Levin, or Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh moderating it. Or, maybe no moderator at all.
One surmises the latter is what Cruz really wants, because the less structure and the less rules the better as far as he’s concerned. He knows he’d beat Trump badly in a 90-minute head to head debate in which he could expose the real estate magnate’s complete lack of depth on a whole host of issues voters actually care about.
The audio, from Levin’s show tonight…
What are the chances this actually happens? Probably not great. Trump thinks he’s got Iowa locked up, though most of the polls show a razor-thin race and the old pros who’ve worked Iowa say Cruz might win Iowa a lot bigger than anybody thinks due to the superiority of his grassroots organization. And because he’s got Iowa locked up, he thinks, a big piece of this would be that he doesn’t actually debate the other candidates but rather throws bombs at them on Twitter while his town hall, which probably gets tape-delayed after it’s edited, plays on another channel. And he uses the fight with Megyn Kelly as a pretext for the pullout.
With the downside being that Cruz is going to call him a coward for the rest of the race until he consents to the head-to-head.
One thing’s for sure, this isn’t boring. Unlike the Democrat race, which has a communist who was on the Soviet side during the Cold War running against a soon-to-be indicted felon facing the prospect of finishing her time on earth in federal prison – and they’ve still managed to put their voters to sleep.