It’s the worst kept secret that the Republican Presidential candidates have thought that last week’s CNBC debate treated them tremendously unfair – in fact we touched on it during last week’s show – but Donald Trump seems ready to take debate demands to the next level. Getting a bump in the polls and the attention from being centre stage at the debate not enough? No, says the businessman Trump, he wants cash!
While talking to Good Morning America this morning, Trump was asked about the Republican National Committee and its efforts to get all 15 of the presidential candidates to sign off on a letter to media organizations with a set list of demands for future debates. Trump has yet to sign, and he added that he doesn’t intend to sign.
“I personally don’t care too much in terms of the debate; they’ve been hitting me one way or another. I guess I have been doing very well. I just want to have the debates. I like the debates,” Trump told GMA host George Stephanopoulos.
“I don’t think it should be three hours… and I’d like money, frankly,” he added. “The networks are making a fortune with the debate. I’d like to see the wounded warriors and the veterans, get some of the profits. I mean, we’re going in, we’re getting nothing, and that’s fine. But [the networks] are getting tremendous – 23, 24 million people.”
There are signs that “the greatest show on Earth” may be losing its luster as only 14 million people tuned in to watch the CNBC debate over the 23 million that tuned into CNN’s debate, and the 24 million that watched that first debate on Fox News. Part of the reason may be that CNBC is not as ubiquitous in U.S. cable packages as either CNN or Fox, but is the patience of America voters now being tested by the GOP clown car?
In the meantime, Trump’s got problems of his own. A new national poll released yesterday shows that Dr. Ben Carson has jumped ahead of Trump with 29 per cent support among Republicans to Trump’s 23. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are a distant third and fourth with 11 and 10 per cent, respectively. On GMA, Trump didn’t show any obvious concern about Carson saying that the neurosurgeon “doesn’t have the experience” needed to be President of the United States.
“I’m going to make the greatest deals you ever seen on trade,” Trump explained. “We’re going to run the military properly. I’m going to take care of the vets. Ben cannot do those thing; Ben cannot deal on trade. It’s not his thing, George, you know – you’re born with it. He hasn’t got the temperament for it. When you see China, these are fierce people in terms of negotiations. They want to cut your throat out. They want to cut you apart. These are tough people. I’ve dealt with them all my life.”
In the meantime, the current President, Barack Obama, mocked the outrage over the CNBC moderators at a Democratic fundraiser yesterday. “Every one of these candidates says, ‘Obama’s weak, Putin’s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out,'” Obama said. “And then it turns out, they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators,” he said. “If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”
The next Republican debate will be on November 10 on the Fox Business Network, and it will be moderated by anchors Sandra Smith, Trish Regan, and the Wall Street Journal′s Washington bureau chief, Gerald Seib. The GOP is betting that the FBN panel and audience will be more friendly to them, and if that’s the case, they should remember two words: “Megyn Kelly.”