Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Trump's Decision--Does It Matter?

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It's with some disappointment that the Republican National Committee will be hosting, with Fox News, their first presidential debate tonight heading into the 2024 presidential election.

Former President Trump has decided not to participate, probably ensuring a much lower viewing audience than the RNC and Fox News had planned for. 

Trump says why should he? His lead is so commanding that there's no value in his participation.

Chris Christie, one who will be participating, is calling Trump a "coward."

Trump has been called a lot of names. "Coward" is usually not one of them.

Does Trump's absence even matter?

Be informed, not misled.

"He's a coward," GOP Presidential Candidate Chris Christie told reporters this week. "There's no other conclusion to come to. He's both afraid of me and defending his record."

Christie may be overestimating his own importance. We'll see. Certainly, the press will be rooting for him to destroy Trump.

David Brody writes, "In Trump world, however, it's the opposite. He says his record speaks for itself, as do the numbers. Not only is the former president leading the race, but he also has better numbers than in 2020 and that's after being indicted four times. A new CBS poll shows Trump at 62 percent. Ron DeSantis is closest at 16 percent, more than 40 points behind. Trump's view remains consistent: why bother?"

"I like to debate, I don't mind it at all," Trump told Bret Baier of Fox News back in March. "But when you're 40 points up… why would I let them (his Republican rivals) take shots at me." 

Brody notes, "Another reason behind Trump's absence is that Fox News is hosting it. The former president has complained consistently about the network's past coverage, saying on social media, 'They purposely show the absolutely worst pictures of me, especially the big 'orange' one with my chin pulled way back'."

And, of course, a debate without Trump means ratings are expected to be down. Maybe way down. 

Trump isn't the only one who has an issue with Fox News.

Republican presidential candidate Larry Elder announced yesterday he will sue the Republican National Committee (RNC) to get on the debate stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, contending he has met all of its requirements and “establishment leaders” are trying to stifle his voice.

“I said from the beginning that it appeared the rules of the game were rigged,” Elder stated in an emailed press release on Tuesday. “Little did we know just how rigged it is.” 

“For some reason, the establishment leaders at the RNC are afraid of having my voice on the Debate stage,” Elder added. “Just as I had to fight to successfully be on the ballot in the California Recall election, I will fight to be on that Debate stage because I fully met all of the requirements to do so.”

Here's what happened to Larry, per Breitbart News:

Elder’s campaign contends he has satisfied these requirements but “[o]nly after receiving our completed qualification package, did the RNC inform us that they were not accepting Rasmussen Polls as qualifying toward the debate.”

The RNC cited alleged ties between Rasmussen and former President Donald Trump, though Elder has “no knowledge about whether Donald Trump has ever worked with Rasmussen previously,” his campaign stated in the release. It added that Vivek Ramaswamy and another candidate also had issues submitting Rasmussen polls and argued if the RNC clarified this with the field, they would have identified other qualifying surveys.

The release added that Elder was not even offered as a candidate in some polls that the RNC accepts:

In addition, it became clear during the final few days of qualifying for the Debate that Larry Elder was NOT EVEN LISTED as a candidate option in many of the RNC’s “qualifying” polls. How can a GOP poll be considered a qualifying poll for all candidates if not all candidates are listed in the poll? This factor alone should be disqualifying, and the poorly-designed poll requirement by the RNC should be lifted.

We'll see how that plays out today.

The Washington Free Beacon gives a typical rundown of what they think or wish might happen tonight.

  • With so many candidates on the stage—between 7 and 10, as of this writing—the debate will be a battle for attention, with all of the candidates looking to break through and break out.
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is not in an enviable position heading into the debate. He has the most to lose from this contest and will be a target for others on the stage. 
  • Will any candidate except Chris Christie and Mike Pence attack Trump head-on? To date, most have either defended the former president in the face of the state and federal indictments he faces, like boy entrepreneur-cum-anti-woke-activist Vivek Ramaswamy or tried to sidestep the question and change the subject.
  • RE Chris Christie: Like Babe Ruth coming up to the plate, the former New Jersey governor has called his shot. What happens if he can’t deliver what he’s promised? And if he does hit it out of the ballpark by destroying one of his opponents, the people are going to want to see more.

Lots of questions going into the beginning of the contest to see who will be the next President of the United States---a United States that is deeply divided.


How Trump's decision to skip the debates will affect his candidacy remains to be seen. 

His soon-to-be-aired exclusive interview with Tucker Carlson will likely be viewed by tens of millions more than the RNC/Fox News debate tonight.

One thing is sure in my mind. I firmly believe this will be the most consequential presidential election since Lincoln. America is teetering on the edge in so many ways---none the least, morally.

I believe our current leadership is both incapable and corrupt.

Prov.29:2 says, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."

The people are mourning.

In Proverbs 14:34, we read, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” This verse shows an established rule, or standard, composed of two alternatives.

There is no middle ground. There are two causes, each with its own effect.

Our nation is becoming a reproach.

May God give us eyes to see and ears to hear.

Pray for America.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.