I don't know if the crazy allure of watching the GOP Clown Car crash has worn off, but I had a lot of trouble trying to make it through the entire Fox News debate. At one point I switched to the newest episode of "Mom," because Allison Janney is so damn funny, but then I went back to finish up the debacle because that's what I get paid to do.
I was treated to more questions and attacks about Trump University and secret off the record NY Times conversations than I was about how the candidates tax plans would help the economy and ISIS strategies would supposedly defeat the terrorist organization.
We heard "dick jokes," and "little Marco" insults all night long, as well as Cruz and Roboto asking Trump more questions than Wallace, Baier or Kelly ever did.
And then there was the candidate who nobody cared about and actually described himself as the little engine that can. Guess which one he was?
It was another round of two on one, as Roboto and Cruz tag-teamed Donald Trump all night with taunts, insults and attacks. I would also say that Fox News, at some points in the debate made it a three on one as they consistently challenged Trump on his past positions and policies, highlighted by video and graphics. But if Fox News was going to bring that to the table last night, they should have posted information on Ted Cruz' flat tax plan scheme, (since it is a sham), and make him explain himself. But that never happened.
As long as Cruz or Rubio quickly proclaimed how their job creation policies were going to ignite the hiring of millions and millions of Americans because of tax cuts and credits, there was no follow up.
When Megyn Kelly asked Cruz to explain why his brand of Conservatism has been soundly rejected by the electorate in favor of Trump's populism, Cruz never responded to her question and went into a tirade about Obama and how the Cruz flat tax plan will save America.
CRUZ: Well, Megyn, you know, at the end of the day for the folks at home, this is not about the insults back and forth between the candidates. This is not about what attacks we can throw at each other. This is the people at home who are struggling through seven years of Barack Obama.
This is the single moms who are working two and three jobs, 28, 29 hours a week because their hours have been forcibly reduced because of Obamacare. This is the truck drivers and the steel workers and the mechanics with calluses on their hands who have seen their wages not grow year after year after year while the cost of living goes up.
This is all the young people coming out of school with student loans up to their eyeballs that aren't able to find a job.
And I don't think the people of America are interested in a bunch of bickering school children. They are interested in solutions, not slogans. It's easy to say, make things better, make things great. You can even print it and put it on a baseball cap.
But the question is, do you understand the principles that made America great in the first place? As president, I will repeal every word of Obamacare. I will pull back the regulators that are killing small businesses.
And we will pass a simple flat tax and abolish the IRS. And what that's going to do, Megyn, is small businesses are going to explode. We are going to see millions of high-paying jobs. We are going to see wages going up. We are going to see opportunity.
That's where our focus needs to be. That's where my focus is. And that is why our campaign is the only campaign that over and over again has beaten Donald Trump to date, and it's why we are the one campaign that going forward can and will beat Donald Trump in this election.
Why was there no follow up by Kelly, forcing Ted Cruz to answer the question, like she did to Trump all night?
Many pundits gave Fox News high marks for engaging the candidates on their positions, but they weren't consistent on who and when they pressed for answers.
I understand that Cruz and Roboto are fighting for their political lives right now, but to turn a second debate into a constant attack on Trump was not productive and quite possibly damaging, not only to themselves, but to the GOP as a whole.
Frank Luntz appeared on The Kelly File afterwards with another one of his focus groups and he was as apoplectic about the debate as his republican guests were.
“I don’t know how happy you all at Fox are going to be,” focus group moderator Frank Luntz warned Kelly, before asking the Fox News viewers to pick one word to describe the debate they just watched.
“Sophomoric,” the first participant responded.
“Embarrassment,” said the next. They went on:
Low on substance.
Luntz called the mood in the room following the Fox News debate “the most negative response” he’d ever seen
I think that is the opinion of most of the + 14 million Americans who viewed it as well.