Concerned Americans looking for pledges that Republicans will do everything in their power to stop the left’s destruction of the country did not find them at the GOP primary debate on Wednesday.
Fox News Hosts Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier kicked off the night by asking candidates to analyze why Oliver Anthony’s hit song “Rich Men North Of Richmond” resonated with Americans. From there, the moderators’ line of questioning quickly deteriorated.
When it came time for a question on abortion, Fox News host and debate moderator Martha MacCallum inaccurately framed Republicans’ pro-life priorities as a “losing issue … since the Dobbs decision.”
Moderators gave the Republicans plenty of time to toot their fiscal horns and posture about funding the war in Ukraine. Noticeably missing from the debate stage, however, were key questions about problems facing voters every day, like attacks on their religious liberty, the pervasion of radical gender ideology, the integrity of the Supreme Court, and the rampant corruption clutching all of the country’s major bureaucratic institutions.
By the end of the evening, voters heard more about candidates’ opinions on extraterrestrial life, climate change, and January 6 than top GOP issues like the weaponization of the FBI and DOJ and Democrats’ ongoing indictment scheme against former President Donald Trump.
A majority of Americans recognize a two-tiered system of justice governs the U.S. Another 56 percent say they understand the Trump indictments are “interference by the Department of Justice in the 2024 election” instead of a “fair application of the law.”
Despite the concerns it elicits from voters across the board, the corruption of the nation’s top federal law enforcement arm did not even make the list of “most-discussed topics” on Wednesday night.
In fact, the debate was more than halfway over before moderators even spoke up about Trump’s name or looming sentencing.
Instead of asking candidates to detail their plan to eradicate the lawless institutions wreaking havoc on Americans’ constitutional rights and meddling in the 2024 election, Baier asked which GOP candidates would support former President Donald Trump as the Republican nominee even if he is “convicted in a court of law.” All except former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson raised their hands.
The lack of issue-specific questions from moderators left it up to individual candidates to bring up how Americans have endured government-led attacks on their preferred presidential candidate, pro-life convictions, and other beliefs for years.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis demanded an “end [to] the weaponization of these federal agents.” Sen. Tim Scott pledged to fire Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray over their institution’s ongoing malfeasance. When entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy interjected that “firing Christopher Wray is not going to [do anything],” he was shut down by Baier.
“You have to shut down the FBI, actually have the courage to get it right,” Ramaswamy snuck in before moderators moved to another question.
At one point, DeSantis signaled that the onstage quibble was shifting away from conversation conservatives cared about toward establishment babble.
“I know what the Democrats would like to do. They want to talk about all these other issues, but we have got to focus on your future. We have got to focus on reversing the decline of our country,” DeSantis said.
After that, however, the conversation never returned to weaponization.
Overall, however, both Fox News and the GOP candidates on that stage did a poor job of offering Americans reassurance that they hadn’t already adopted the same do-nothing attitude Republicans in Congress have about the deep state’s war on voters.
That is no accident. Wednesday’s debate wasn’t simply “out of touch” because it was the product of GOP establishment pawns. It was deliberately orchestrated to thwart the goals of the conservative populist base that elected the latest Republican president, who opted to join an interview with Fox News’ biggest firing instead of arguing on a stage in Milwaukee.
Republican inaction on the weaponization of the federal government is why the Biden administration can name scandal-plagued Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel over the ongoing Biden investigation. It’s also why partisan actors all over the country have successfully racked up dozens of charges against the former leader of the free world.
Americans don’t want to hedge their 2024 bets on performative politicians. They want to elect problem-solvers who will turn their anxieties into action. The first GOP primary did nothing to soothe their voters’ fears about the rapid decline of the nation.
What Americans needed to hear from candidates was a clear-cut plan on how they would completely annihilate decades of deceit and dishonesty from the DOJ and FBI. They needed to hear Republicans call the Trump indictments the greatest offense the regime running the greatest nation in the world could commit.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get answers in Milwaukee. If history means anything, they won’t get straight answers from candidates on the campaign trail either.