National Review columnist Jim Geraghty, who has been critical of Donald Trump, writes that Trump had benefited by skipping Thursday’s GOP debate: “Trump Avoids the Immigration Flip-Flopping Bloodbath,” he concludes.
In his post-debate analysis, Geraghty explains:
In the middle of tonight’s debate, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul spent about ten minutes trading accusations of inconsistency on immigration reform. It felt like the last ten minutes of The Departed, where almost every major character suffered a grievous injury…
Trump wasn’t there to have his past statements showcased to the audiences at home and in the hall. Could you imagine if Trump had stayed, and Megyn Kelly confronted Trump, showing his old quotes on video? The resulting explosion would have been epic.
Instead, Geraghty notes, Trump’s leading rivals targeted each other for inconsistencies with their past positions, and the moderators targeted the frontrunners with pre-packaged videos that documented their flip-flopping on amnesty.
Notably, National Review was to have co-hosted the debate, until the Republican National Committee dropped the magazine, following its decision to devote its most recent issue and cover to arguing against Trump’s candidacy.