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Buchanan: Kelly Did ‘Good Job,’ But Moderators Are Being ‘Adversary Candidates,’ Trump Skipping ‘Really Worked’


On Friday’s “McLaughlin Group,” columnist Pat Buchanan argued that Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly “did a good job in this debate” but that “All these moderators are too involved.” He added that he thinks Republican candidate Donald Trup skipping the debate “really worked.”


Buchanan said, “Well, I think she did a good job in this debate. I think Kelly did, and she was under the gun here.”

He continued, “But I do believe this. All these moderators are too involved. They’re acting like candidates, adversary candidates, and they ought to let the guys on the stage take on the guys the stage, and drop back in their role, ask tough questions.” Buchanan further characterized the video montages of candidates’ past statements as “attack ads.”

After Chicago Tribune Editorial Board member Clarence Page countered, “They’re supposed to be answering questions and be held accountable.” Buchanan responded, “Bring them on ‘Meet the Press’ and go after them. Bring them on Megyn Kelly, go after them. But if it’s a candidates’ debate, let the candidates debate.”

The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift then argued that there were too many “canned speeches” in the debate. Buchanan said, “They were canned speeches. But that’s — your and my job is to say that was canned speeches. They got a right to deliver them. In a year when people want dramatic change and thousands are coming out to Bernie, overthrow the system, and Trump’s going to overthrow the system, if we get, after Bush 41, Bush 43, Bush 45, do you really think that’s what the country wants?”

Earlier, Buchanan said, “Trump took a risk in doing this [skipping the debate] because he was moving very — along very well. He’s rising in the polls in Iowa. There’s a question whether his ground game is as good as [GOP candidate Texas Senator] Ted Cruz. But he took it — and I do agree, I think there’s a natural aspect. I mean, Fox News put out this press release, which was taunting and mocking him. At the same time, they seem to have a problem with Trump. And I can’t blame him. He’s ‘Art of the Deal’ man, he says, look, there are sometimes, like Reagan at Reykjavik, where you just pound the table and get up and say, ‘I’m going home’, and you walk out. And it was a risk by Trump, but it really worked. I mean, you talk about folks this morning, you read all the post-game commentary, and it’s all that Trump dodged a bullet or did very, very well. John, this is — let me just say one more point. This Monday thing and the Iowa caucuses, if Trump wins, I think he runs to daylight.” He later added, “I think Trump got the most out of it.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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