The first debate in the GOP presidential primary season may have been five days ago, but the controversy still remains thanks to Donald Trump’s endless criticism of the debate questions and co-moderator Megyn Kelly. Trump accused her of asking him an inappropriate question and said that she had “blood in her eyes.”
Trump also said that the questions were “not nice.”
There isn’t a rule that debate questions have to be nice, but they should be appropriate.
Here are the questions that Trump was asked during the debate:
1. Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” … Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?
2. Mr. Trump, it has not escaped anybody’s notice that you say that the Mexican government, the Mexican government is sending criminals — rapists, drug dealers, across the border. Governor Bush has called those remarks, quote, “extraordinarily ugly.” I’d like you — you’re right next to him — tell us — talk to him directly and say how you respond to that and — and you have repeatedly said that you have evidence that the Mexican government is doing this, but you have evidence you have refused or declined to share. Why not use this first Republican presidential debate to share your proof with the American people?
2a. Mr. Trump, I’ll give you 30 seconds — I’ll give you 30 seconds to answer my question, which was, what evidence do you have, specific evidence that the Mexican government is sending criminals across the border? Thirty seconds.
3.Mr. Trump, ObamaCare is one of the things you call a disaster. … Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system.Why were you for that then and why aren’t you for it now.
4. Mr. Trump, it’s not just your past support for single- payer health care. You’ve also supported a host of other liberal policies. You — you’ve also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.” … So what specifically did … they do?
5. Mr. Trump, you talk a lot about how you are the person on this stage to grow the economy. I want to ask you about your business record. Trump corporations — Trump corporations, casinos and hotels, have declared bankruptcy four times over the last quarter-century. In 2011, you told Forbes Magazine this: “I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage.” But at the same time, financial experts involved in those bankruptcies say that lenders to your companies lost billions of dollars. Question sir, with that record, why should we trust you to run the nation’s business?
5a. No, but the concept sir… that’s your line, but your companies have gone bankrupt.
5b. Well sir, let’s just talk about the latest example … which is Trump Entertainment Resorts, which went bankrupt in 2009. In that case alone, lenders to your company lost over $1 billion and more than 1,100 people were laid off. … Is that the way you’d run the country?
6. Mr. Trump, in 1999, you said you were, quote, “very pro- choice.” Even supporting partial-birth abortion. You favored an assault-weapons ban as well. In 2004, you said in most cases you identified as a Democrat. Even in this campaign, your critics say you often sound more like a Democrat than a Republican, calling several of your opponents on the stage things like clowns and puppets. When did you actually become a Republican?
7. Mr. Trump, 30 seconds to respond (to Jeb Bush’s original question, which related to Trump’s name-calling)
8. Mr. Trump, closing statement, sir.
There was one additional question which was asked of all candidates at the beginning of the debate about pledging not to run an independent third party campaign, which was clearly targeted at Trump, who has been rumored to be considering such a run should he fail to win the GOP nomination.
There is little doubt that Trump may have been grilled a little harder than the other candidates, but he also had more airtime than his rivals, who had to field some equally uncomfortable questions.
Maybe Trump and his opponents thought that the Fox News moderators were going to go easy on them, owing to the network’s conservative bent. But by getting tough they were actually doing the field a favor by preparing them for what’s sure to come from the Democrats and the liberal media as the campaign wears on.