Dear Donald, Ben, Marco, Ted, Jeb, Carly, John, and Rand:
But at a certain point, complaining about media bias is like complaining about a puppy peeing on the carpet. If you don’t like it, don’t get a puppy – and don’t run for president.
The current front-runners, Donald and Ben, are benefiting from a slightly odd and, I hope, unsustainable cult of personality.
I don’t necessarily mean that what I hope is unsustainable is your front-runner status (though I suppose that’s also true); instead what I hope is that Republican voters will demand more from you than the non-specific bloviating (Trump) and dodging (Carson) that we’ve heard so far.
If you get a hard question from Neil Cavuto or Maria Bartiromo, I suggest you don’t reply with some obviously scripted evasion about media bias. Cavuto and Bartiromo are nobody’s idea of left-leaning media hacks. Cavuto is a proud conservative/libertarian capitalist; Bartiromo is pro-free market though she generally keeps her political views to herself. They are both highly experienced and qualified business-oriented journalists.
We (voters who are likely to support a Republican in the general election) want to hear specifics from you: What are the key details of your plans for tax reform, health care reform, immigration reform, and whatever else the moderators ask you about? Why are your plans better than the next guy’s (or gal’s) plan? If contrasting with others, give an answer that addresses the other candidate’s plan, not their personality or face or hair or credit cards or childhood or famous last name or position on the stage.
There was value in putting the media in its place and reminding millions of Americans that there are truly massive double standards in how you are treated compared to how Democrats are treated.
But if you continue down that path on Tuesday night when being questioned by people as qualified and fair as Cavuto and Bartiromo, you will appear unprepared, unserious and unpresidential.
Perhaps some of you are simply afraid of being unmasked as actually being unprepared, unserious and unpresidential and have no other strategy available to you. I certainly have my suspicions. For the rest of you, I encourage you to remember that Fox Business Network is not CNBC and that Republican voters won’t long be satisfied with superficialities.
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