Donald Trump’s decision not to participate in the Fox News debate has shined a spotlight on the advocacy efforts and undisclosed conflict of interests of the news network’s founder, Rupert Murdoch. These advocacy efforts may perhaps explain some of the motivations underlying the network’s treatment of the GOP frontrunner.
As Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski explained in a Wednesday morning radio interview, there were suspicions that Trump would not be “treated fairly” by the network and would not be given “a fair show in the debate.” Lewandowski cited Fox’s recent actions—such as the network’s release of “a series of statements, unprovoked, to taunt the frontrunner”— as cause for such suspicions.
As Breitbart News has previously reported, Rupert Murdoch serves as the co-chair of the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE)—arguably one of the most powerful immigration lobbying firms in the country. As such, Trump’s candidacy represents a direct threat to Murdoch’s efforts to open America’s borders, which is perhaps underscored by the fact that Murdoch’s PNAE has made efforts to promulgate material directly attacking Trump’s position on immigration moderation.
However, what is equally undiscussed is Rupert Murdoch’s support for globalist trade deals opposed by Donald Trump.
Murdoch’s advocacy for open borders trade and immigration policies places him on the opposite side of Trump on—what populist thought leader Jeff Sessions has described as—the two most significant issues of the 2016 election. Sessions has said: “I don’t think a Republican candidate should be running for President that says they’re for amnesty, for even more immigration, and for trade agreements that don’t serve the national interest.”
Sessions has also hinted that these two issues frequently go unaddressed in Republican debates because the networks are run by “internationalist,” “corporate gurus” who have largely banished meaningful discussion on trade and immigration. As Sessions said last November: “their owners, their corporate gurus that dominate the network and stations are internationalists. They’re globalists and they’ve bought into this. They just have.”
Indeed, Murdoch has been a vocal advocate for President Barack Obama and Paul Ryan’s globalist trade agenda. As the Huffington Post reported in a piece titled, “Republican Billionaires Love Obama’s Trade Deal” in June of last year:
President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans claim the middle class should like America’s pending trade deal with 11 other Pacific nations. But there’s one demographic that already loves it: billionaires. Last week, dozens of New York City’s power elite signed a letter to the state’s congressional delegation, urging lawmakers to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership now in negotiations.
In addition to Rupert Murdoch, other signatories of the letter included the chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, the Chairman and CEO of American Express, the Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, and the Chief Executive Officer of New Corporation.
In the letter, the prominent corporatists write:
On behalf of the Partnership for New York City, whose members collectively employ 1.5 million New Yorkers, we urge you to support the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA) and allow negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement to move forward.
They describe it as “vitally important that Congress grant the President,” the power to fast-track these international trade agreements.
The elites explain that they “trust” Obama and his administration to draft trade deals that benefit the nation’s interest:
We trust that the Obama Administration – working under the strict accountability provisions of TPA – will deal with legitimate concerns that have been raised about enforcement provisions, currency manipulation and protection of American jobs.
Interestingly, however, Republican lawmakers such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio helped to vote down an amendment offered by Ohio Republican Rob Portman during the TPA fight, which would have addressed currency manipulation.
Trump’s aggressive ideological opposition to fast-tracking the globalist trade deals advocated by Murdoch distinguishes him from the rest of the top-polling candidates in the GOP field.
As Trump explained in November, “The TPP is a horrible deal… It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble.” Trump said that it was “one of the worst trade deals” and that he would “rather not have it.” Trump pointed specifically to the fact that the deal now on fast-track—is nearly “5,600 pages long” and is “so complex that nobody’s read it. It’s like Obamacare—nobody ever read it,” Trump said.
By contrast, Marco Rubio has previously-endorsed TPP and declared it to be one of the “pillars” of his hoped-for Rubio presidency. In an April 29th op-ed published in the open borders opinion pages of Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, Rubio wrote: “We must rebuild our own military capabilities, conclude and pass TPP, and renew our support for freedom and the rule of law in Asia.” In a May 13th address to the Council on Foreign Relations, Rubio described TPP as the “second pillar” of his three-pillar foreign policy and declared, “It is more important than ever that Congress give the president [Barack Obama] trade promotion authority so that he can finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
However, by a nearly five-to-one margin, Republican voters believe that so-called free trade deals reduce wages rather than raise them. And now, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times, Rubio told reporters on Jan. 7 that he will not reveal his position on the very trade deal he endorsed and voted to fast-track until May 18th—two months after Super Tuesday.
Rubio’s refusal to openly discuss how he will vote on the trade deal has been enabled, in part, by the fact that Rubio has not been asked a single question in any of the GOP debates about his longstanding support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. This, of course, includes the first Fox News debate. Neither Megyn Kelly nor any of her fellow Fox moderators asked Rubio a single question about his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which both he and the network’s founder have endorsed.
Similarly, in April of last year, Cruz penned a joint op-ed with Paul Ryan in the opinion pages of Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, explaining why Congress ought to give Obama the authority to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
In his effort to promote Obamatrade, Cruz even criticized Jeff Sessions’s warnings against the trade agreement as “not accurate.” In a June radio interview, Cruz said that it is “simply false that the TPP trade agreement gives up our sovereignty”—even though it was later confirmed that article 27.1 of the TPP would in fact, as Sessions warned, lead to the establishment of an international governing commission.
Eleven days after criticizing Sessions, Cruz then flipped and announced he would no longer support Obamatrade—citing two technicalities for reversing his position. Cruz explained that although, “as a general matter,” he supports the ideology underlying globalist trade deals, he was concerned that the deal could bring about changes to U.S. immigration law as well as provisions regarding the export-import bank.
Interestingly, Rupert Murdoch has been effusive in expressing his affection for Paul Ryan with whom Cruz penned his original April op-ed in favor of Obamatrade. Paul Ryan has been one of the biggest champions of open borders trade and immigration policies in Congress. In 2014, Murdoch said that he had “particular admiration for” Ryan. Murdoch said:
He is the straightest arrow I’ve ever met. He’s hardworking. He knows where every dollar goes in Washington. He’s emerging as the natural leader. I almost think that because of the position he’s in, he’s not the most important, but he’s the most influential Republican in his party at the moment in Washington.