July 16, 2024

Fox held the second debate on Wednesday night  But the reaction to it was largely: What the heck was Fox thinking, with how they conducted it? This format wasn’t serving any of the candidates who were present.

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It seemed largely out of control with people talking over each other and the candidates not always being allowed to rebut attacks on them, normally a standard in debates. 

As Ed Morrissey noted over at our sister site Hot Air, the real loser of the debate was Fox Business with how they dealt with it. 

You had the moderators pushing questions that seemed more in line with Democratic propaganda rather than concentrating on Republican voters’ concerns. 

Does this sound like it’s a Republican debate? 

PERINO: Americans want to believe a leader who says: you can follow me, I’ve got you, don’t worry. President Biden is trying to do that with Bidenomics.

VARNEY: And yesterday he joined the picket lines where auto workers are demanding more wages and job security.

The Univision moderator Ilia Calderón even asked if the government shuts down, should voters blame populist Republicans.

It sounded like a debate based on Democratic talking points. 

There were some bad questions during the debate. Perhaps one of the worst was the one from Dana Perino where she said that if they all stayed in the race, former President Donald Trump would win. So she asked that they each list who they would “vote off the island” to better their chances in the race to overtake Trump in the race. 

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When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the others refused to answer that question, Perino then asked him what his path was to the nomination. 

Megyn Kelly had the perfect response that said it for a lot of us, 

“Holy sh*t, did that just happen? Survivor?” Kelly snarked. “Beneath the dignity of a presidential debate.” 

Exactly. How is that the last question of the debate? It’s supposed to be a serious debate on serious issues, not a reality show, trying to pit people against each other. They seemed to want to inspire a fight or a free-for-all between the candidates with that kind of question. What happened to closing statements? Were they more interested in getting the fiery moment than addressing issues Republicans care about? 

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My colleague Jennifer Oliver O’Connell summed up the “FUBAR” nature of the format to begin with, where they ask a question and then give people 30 seconds to chime in. Indeed. Again, it seems designed to have infighting, rather than clarity on the issues. 

There might be more people who bail on the third debate when they’re handled like this. 

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