Since the Democrats had their first Presidential primary debate Tuesday night, you just knew overgrown eyebrow enthusiast Donald Trump had to show up on as many news shows as possible to suck up as much oxygen as he could, especially due to the good press Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders received for their performances. One of his appearances was on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, where he tossed around a conspiracy theory while simultaneously admitting the damage he is creating within the Republican Party.
After host Bill O’Reilly ranted about Tuesday night’s debate during his ‘Talking Points’ segment, he turned to Trump to talk about the event in more detail. While Bill-O mostly complained that moderator Anderson Cooper didn’t focus as much on foreign policy as he would have liked, the Trumpster decided to go in a whole other direction. In The Donald’s view, somebody high up in the Democratic Party told CNN to go easy on the candidates and not have them fight with each other, like what happened at last month’s GOP debate.
O’REILLY: So are you saying now that CNN was in the tank? That they made an editorial decision to be easier on Democrats than on Republicans? Is that what you’re saying tonight?
TRUMP: Well maybe the Democrats, headed by whoever might be heading it, they said ‘This is the way we want it and we insist on doing it this way.’ I mean, frankly what they did to Republicans was…
O’REILLY: You think the Democrats told CNN what they were going to do? That’s a pretty tough charge.
TRUMP: I think that’s very possible.
I mean, once you’ve lost Papa Bear on a crazy claim about Dems, perhaps you might want to pump the brakes. But not if you’re someone whose only seen his support increase anytime he’s said something outlandish and nutty. Therefore, Trump didn’t hesitate in his trip down the rabbit hole and kept on with the crazy.
TRUMP: No, I don’t see anything wrong with it even. Look, the way they spoke with us was pitting one into the other. Everything was like, ‘This one said that, how do you respond Mr. Trump?’
O’REILLY: But there was more to work with there, though. There was more, umm, you guys had been back and forth. So let’s be fair about it. But your accusation — I don’t know, maybe that’s a strong word — that Democratic Party dictated terms of the debate to CNN, that’s a pretty strong accusation.
TRUMP: It was a much different debate charge, if you look at what happened with us and if you look at what happened. And by the way, I thought Anderson Cooper did an excellent job. But in that case they were asking questions, they were giving answers. In our case it was like a reality show if you want to know the truth. And that’s what happened. And frankly, I liked it, I enjoyed it, but it was a very different way of doing a debate.
That last little bit shows either a total lack of self-awareness or the fact that Trump realizes just how much he has harmed the GOP. I really can’t tell, to be honest. For the most part, he seems to just say whatever random shit comes to his head in hopes of a visceral reaction and fawning support from his fanboys. But, right there, he was essentially admitting that his participation in this election has basically ruined any chance for Republicans. Does he actually understand that he is most of the reason the GOP primary is a complete shitshow right now? Does he care?
The thing is, he’s tossing a conspiracy theory out there accusing Democrats of shenanigans, but mostly because they looked like adults engaged in civil discourse on substantive issues and seemed to generally support each other. (Also, Cooper was EXTREMELY tough with his questioning and approach. He did anything but take it easy on the participants.) At the same time, the former Apprentice star is claiming that Republicans are behaving like they are on a reality TV show, and he actually likes and enjoys it but seems to realize it is a bad thing.
It is sorta like he wants to be taken seriously and be involved in something like what he saw at the Dem debate, but realizes that it is impossible if he is directly involved. All he knows is self-promotion, simple-minded boastfulness and the power of identity politics. He can’t discuss actual policy or real solutions, but he can promise to be a winner and do very smart and very great things. And as long as that gets him constant attention, he’ll keep riding that horse. But, perhaps, he is lamenting the fact that no matter what he does, he just can’t compete on the same level as what he saw Tuesday night.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Fox News: