Low blows by Fox News anchors questioning Donald Trump's motives, credentials, and political correctness elicited off-the-cuff answers from him in the two-hour Republican debate Thursday at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Despite predictions that his exasperated remarks would deplete his poll numbers, they stayed high.
A survey conducted by NBC Friday and Saturday showed Trump with a respectable 23 percent of voters. This number, according to Breitbart, jibes with a Gravis Marketing poll whereby 19 percent of Republicans named Trump winner of the debate.
In the NBC rankings based on percentages, the first seven spots were determined this way: Donald Trump (23), Ted Cruz (13), Ben Carson (11), Carly Fiorina (8), Marco Rubio (8), Jeb Bush (7) and Scott Walker (7).
According to The Wall Street Journal, two early polls immediately after the debate named Trump winner with significant leads. Time Magazine had Trump ahead in the race with 47 percent of some 55 thousand votes, followed by Rubio in second place with 10 percent. The Drudge Report placed Trump at the top of the pack with over 50 percent of about 362,000 votes, leaving the other contenders far behind.
During the two-hour event that drew a record 24 million viewers, Fox News hosts Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly, and Bret Baier grilled Trump in a manner that seemed to rankle him. He responded in a cavalier fashion to questions that appeared irrelevant to an agenda clearly stated in his presidential campaign announcement last June 16.
At the start of the program, Bret Baier asked for a show of hands by anyone unwilling to pledge support to the eventual nominee of the Republican Party and pledge to not run as an independent against that person. Of the 10 GOP hopefuls, only Trump raised his hand.
When it was his turn, Chris Wallace described how lenders lost more than $1 billion with some 1,100 people getting laid off in a fiasco involving a Trump company.
For her part, Megyn Kelly questioned the length of time Trump spent as a Republican. She also recalled an instance when he referred to women as "fat, pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals."
During the launch of his presidential campaign on June 16 at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, Donald Trump stressed the following priorities important to him.
On foreign policy issues, he mentioned the need for the U.S. to send its best negotiators to foreign countries, his GOP rivals as not being qualified to handle the Islamic State, and Secretary of State John Kerry being the wrong man to negotiate a deal with Iran. Trump also brought up Islamic terrorists getting rich from eating large portions of the Mideast, and Chinese leaders being smarter than U.S. ones.
Regarding domestic matters, he stated his intention to be the greatest jobs president ever, to have his wealth exemplify the kind of thinking needed for the country, and to prove Obamacare a disastrous idea.
On illegal immigration, he proposed a great wall at the southern border that Mexico would pay for, and immediate action against drugs, crime, and rapists entering the country.
In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon on Friday, Trump responded to Kelly's sharp-edged line of questioning at the previous night's debate. He made the following comment:
"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."Redstate Editor Erick Erickson took Trump's statement as a hormonal insinuation and disinvited him from the Redstate Gathering of presidential hopefuls in Atlanta, where Trump was to be keynote speaker Saturday night. Fox News anchor Kelly got invited to the event instead.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]