Fox News Is Breaking Up with Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

It may not be Facebook official, but it would appear Marco Rubio’s relationship with Fox News is coming to an end. Several news sources reported this week that the former conservative media golden boy and “donor class darling” is off Fox News’ A-list, potentially making way for Donald Trump.

New York Magazine reports:

According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he’s lost confidence in Rubio’s ability to win. “We’re finished with Rubio,” Ailes recently told a Fox host. “We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.”

Ailes was already concerned about Rubio’s lackluster performance in GOP primaries and caucuses, winning only one contest among the 15 that have been held. But the more proximate cause for the flip was an embarrassing New York Times article revealing that Rubio and Ailes had a secret dinner meeting in 2013 during which the Florida senator successfully lobbied the Fox News chief to throw his support behind the “Gang of 8” comprehensive immigration-reform bill. “Roger hates seeing his name in print,” a longtime Ailes associate told me. “He was appalled the dinner was reported,” the source said.

This development might explain why Rubio was the target of harsh criticism from Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday, as Politico points out:

Hannity said Rubio’s onslaught is “turning into a suicide mission.” He speculated Rubio “is being fed this” and was “probably promised a lot of money” to go after Trump this way and slammed a pro-Rubio super PAC for running an ad on Trump’s refusal to disavow the Ku Klux Klan.

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Donald Trump Needs to Learn How to Say “I’m Sorry”

I just googled “Donald Trump apologize.” I went ten pages deep. I couldn’t find a single example of Donald Trump ever saying he was sorry.

The guy just doesn’t apologize. Ever.

In July, Trump even admitted he had never apologized to God. “I’m not sure I have,” Trump told Frank Luntz in Iowa. “I don’t think so.”

Trump is the guy who bumps into you on the subway and says “excuse you” instead of “excuse me.”

Now Trump is running for President. That usually requires a few “I’m sorry”s from time to time. Perhaps he should start with Megyn Kelly.

In a CNN interview with Don Lemon, Trump went after Kelly for asking him aggressive questions in the debate Thursday night. Check out the video below:

“I just don’t respect her,” Trump said. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her—wherever.

I’m sorry, what? What is that supposed to mean?

I really don’t care for political correctness. But what is Trump implying? Did he just make a menstruation joke? Did he slight Megyn Kelly for asking him tough questions by saying, essentially, it was because she was a woman?

Carly Fiorina said it best in a tweet last night.

It’s time for Donald Trump to say “I’m sorry” to Megyn Kelly. That’s what real men do when they screw up. They own it and apologize. And Mr. Continue Reading

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Fox News GOP Debate Edition

Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate, August 11, 2011 (photo credit: via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Let’s do “Who’s Not” hot first, because it’s an easier call: Fox News and the RNC.  In a week dominated by the first Republican presidential debate, the biggest losers were the hosts of this missed opportunity of a debate.

How can you tell it was a bad debate? The name of Hillary Clinton was mentioned eleven times, and only four of those mentions included so much as a full sentence of criticism. Two hours of prime time television, and the presumptive Democratic nominee was unscathed (although I agree with Ben Carson that she probably will not be the nominee).

It wasn’t the Republican candidates’ fault (although, really, they should get in a dig at Mrs. Clinton at every opportunity, as Carly Fiorina generally does). The problem was the suffocating format devised by Fox and the RNC.  The moderating trio of Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace got confused and thought they were the story. They strangled the discussion with ridiculous questioning intended not to inform voters, but to generate sound bites. It was an evening of playing gotcha.

Here’s an example: the number one issue on voters’ minds is the economy, right? As in, why isn’t it growing? Chris Wallace to Trump: “You’ve talked a lot about how you are the person on this stage to grow the economy. I want to ask you about your businesses. Trump corporations have declared bankruptcy four times over the last quarter century.” So instead of hearing how Donald Trump would stimulate economic growth – an issue voters actually care about – precious time was wasted on the circumstances of Trump availing himself of the bankruptcy law. Continue Reading

How to Improve the Debate Format: Take a Cue from English Soccer

An English Premier League table (photo credit: Mike Beales via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Allow us, today, to draw lessons from our British cousins.

English Premier League Soccer, like today’s Republican Party, organizes its winners and losers into two strata. At the conclusion of each season, the three worst-performing clubs are “Relegated” to the lower league, while the three top-performing clubs from the lower league are kicked upstairs to the “Big Leagues.”

Such should be the case with the two “Leagues” of last night’s Republican debaters. Let’s shake up the debates by rewarding success and punishing those candidates who depressed us, objectively failing.

Organizers take note:

The three lowest-performing debaters can be fairly judged to have lost last night’s 9 P.M. event.

The three top-performing debaters from last night’s 5 P.M. debate can be justly carried into the winners’ circle.

Debate winners and losers can be determined by polling. But here are my provisional picks.

From the 5 P.M. debate, promote the following 3 candidates:

  • Carly Fiorina
  • Blank – no qualifier
  • Blank – no qualifier

From the 7 P.M. debate, relegate the following 3 candidates:

  • Ben Carson
  • John Kasich
  • Rand Paul

And, oh yeah, Fox News, promote Martha McCallum and relegate that oh-so-tiresome Megyn Kelly.

James McCrery is and architect and political thinker who lives in Washington, DC. Continue Reading

Should Fiorina Skip the Fox News B-List Debate?

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)


Six months before a single primary vote is cast, Fox News and the RNC are making a historic move — they have decided to make the decision for the voters and arbitrarily limit the GOP field to ten. They have chosen who constitutes a serious candidate and who constitutes a B-lister based on the average of several early national polls.

The use of national polling itself is problematic, as it gives a clear advantage to well-funded candidates with a clear national presence, while putting grassroots movements at a significant disadvantage. It also prioritizes celebrity over substance.

In spite of her willingness to take on tough issues in a polished yet unapologetic manner, Carly Fiorina has missed the cut. She’s been one of the sharpest critics of Hillary Clinton, and yet, while real-estate moguls, threatening to mount a third-party run, are allowed to turn the stage into something resembling a reality show, her candidacy is left to languish on stage with the George Patakis and Jim Gilmores of the race.

In the midst of a renewed wave of outrage against Planned Parenthood and their barbaric practices, the GOP needs Carly Fiorina. At a time when it seems many GOP leaders would prefer to steer clear of the issue of life, she has made the issue one of the key tenets of her campaign. Moreover, her defense of life has been articulate and heartfelt, and as such she has emerged as one of the most effective and prominent voices for life in the field.

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Dear Fox News: Please Let All Serious Candidates Debate!

Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate, August 11, 2011 (photo credit: via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Fox News and the Republican National Committee made an unprecedented decision.  They are deciding six months before the Iowa Caucus who should be taken seriously and who shouldn’t.  Only the top 10 candidates, according to an average of the last five national polls leading up to August 4th at 5:00p ET, will be able to participate in Thursday’s debate in Cleveland, Ohio.

As it stands now, according to the RealClearPolitics average today, the candidates who make the cut are:

  1. Donald Trump – 22.2%
  2. Scott Walker – 12.7%
  3. Jeb Bush – 12.2%
  4. Ted Cruz – 6.3%
  5. Mike Huckabee – 6.3%
  6. Ben Carson – 6.0%
  7. Marco Rubio – 5.5%
  8. Rand Paul – 5.2%
  9. John Kasich – 3.7%
  10. Chris Christie – 3.2%

Right now Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, and Lindsey Graham don’t make the cut.  Perry, in 11th place with 2.7 percent, could squeak in if a poll is released that would help him bump Christie, but the others are likely to be excluded for certain.

The simple fact that Fox News is eliminating candidates this early is troubling enough.  The fact they are using early national polls to do so makes it even worse.

National polling in the Republican primary race is hardly a predictor of who will end up being nominated.  If it were, Rudy Giuliani would have coasted in to the nomination in 2008.  In 2012, the national polling was all over the place. Continue Reading

Let Fighting Carly Fiorina Fight with the Boys

Photo credit: Joshua Pinho

Fox News’ “main event” debate, scheduled for Thursday next week, is limited to ten, which, frankly, is an artificial manipulation of the process, since the difference between candidates included and candidates excluded is within the margin of error of the polling.  Fox News has so far refused to bend from limiting the main event to ten, but at least they announced that all the remaining candidates will be permitted into a second tier 5 p.m. televised debate, according to Politico.

Fox is currently stratifying the candidates into two tiers: the top 10, which get the prime time spot at 9 p.m.; and everyone else, who will appear on a separate debate stage at 5 p.m.:

According to a POLITICO analysis of the latest national polling, the prime-time participants today would be Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rick Perry.

But, demonstrating how controversial any way of cutting off the polling will be, RealClearPolitics averages yield a different cut.

He who picks the polls to include picks the candidates to exclude. This is not going to be good for Fox News or for America. Ten is arbitrary.  Let them all debate.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

When a Fox News Panel Goes Wrong

Fox News has played an enormous role in de-centering and disempowering the standard media.  So it is enormously disappointing, or maybe just revealing, to hear a Fox News Sunday panel trying to explain a lot of things.

Trump’s rise?  Okay I’ve had my own troubles on that.  But when Fox News trys to carve up the field into “uniters” and “dividers,” they are in enemy territory.  Nothing will make sense if you think this way.

Even worse, Dorothy Rabinowitz tries to portray Scott Walker as a “divider” because he endorses a states’ right amendment on marriage:

But I have to say, when you count Walker in the top tier, the more I listen to him, the more I think, he promised for one thing his willingness to go and—were he president, he would announce for having a states vote on whether you could have one man, one woman. This is the kind of polarizing reach out that is not going to play well.

I have enormous doubts about Scott Walker; let me play my cards here openly.  But the idea that gay marriage is somehow the main polarizing divide and Republicans need to get with the program?  How out of touch can you be, very smart lady named Dorothy?

Commentary like this explains a lot about Trump—even though Trump himself has not showed courage (yet) on the gay marriage issue.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading