Another week, another episode of that Reality TV show we’ve all been hearing about: You’re Fired!: America’s Weird Rejection of Clueless GOP Elites. It is debate number 11 for the once-crowded field of Republicans, whose party is still looking to pass the torch on to the next person to take over where Mitt Romney left off in 2012.
And at 9 p.m. ET on FOX News, you can bet that Romney’s hard hooks from earlier in the day will be counter-punched by bully cum laude Donald J. Trump, as he continues his reign atop the GOP card — while pundits everywhere consider what that might mean for this country. He’s already called Romney a ‘stiff’ and a ‘choke artist’ at a press conference today, but he may have saved his best for last.
Who will Trump insult first, and is it Ted Cruz’s turn to “take the gloves off” heading out of the gates with his Super Tuesday victories in tow?
Here are 5 things to know heading into tonight’s GOP Debate:
1. Megyn Kelly vs. Donald Trump
The first time around, in debate number one, FOX anchor Megyn Kelly was the moderator who inadvertently set off Trump’s media takeover. Cries of foul and “misogyny” echoed through the Twittersphere as Trump also made fun of Rosie O’Donnell, which was only the beginning of a Trump campaign that would turn his ego and flare for ignoring “political correctness” into a spotlight of the election. Look for the pair to spar again as Kelly will no doubt be tough on Trump in the wake of a heightened anti-Trump movement, of which FOX News is no doubt a part of.
2. Ben Carson’s void being filled by…
More Donald Trump! The less crowded the stage, the easier his takeover of the cameras. The initial strategy against Trump back in June was, “Let him do himself in,” and then when that didn’t work it was “No comment,” and then some suggested “Be just like Trump,” before finally, “Attack the billionaire!” Yet much to the dismay of the GOP establishment, none of it has worked. Instead, it’s backfired — Trump is dominating the airwaves now more than ever.
3. Trump the Unifier?
The hot-headed billionaire has a lot of reason to try and stay cool tonight, and that comes on the heels of his promises on Super Tuesday to ‘grow the party’ and ‘be a great unifier’ for the Republicans. Some skeptics might think — how can the most polarizing figure in the media, next to Kanye West, do anything but fracture and divide us? But The Donald has The Answer: “Watch me win.”
4. Ted Cruz takes it to Trump
With Roger Ailes bailing on Marco Rubio, the pressure is on Ted Cruz to prove why he earned the dubious title of “North American Debating Championship Top Speaker” while at Princeton. Look for Cruz to hit Trump on his many, many weaknesses as a presidential candidate in what could be Mr. Cruz’s last best chance for a Wrestlemania moment.
5. Kasich comes out of the woodwork.
Not every voter is acquainted with the pragmatic governor of Ohio, but tonight you can expect that to change. He’s fully aware Rubio is losing some of his backing and that there’s a wide open lane to move in and finish first in his home state of Ohio, which would move the Republican Party closer to a brokered convention and create a list of quid pro quo favors owed to him by Washington elites scared of Trump running this country into the ground. Kasich, who will separate himself from the other three as a well-mannered centrist, will probably outline his policy proposals if given enough time by the FOX moderator team.
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