Former US President Donald Trump has mocked the Republican Presidential primary debate, hosted by Fox TV, saying that the debate was one of the "lowest rated ever" and showed that many of those participating are "second tier" and merely "pretenders to the throne".
This indicates that none of them feature in his list to ride on his ticket for vice president, even though Indian entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy said he would love to ride on his ticket and successfully raised $450,000 from his supporters soon after the debate. If Trump were to win the nomination, there is speculation that Marjorie Green Taylor, representative, could be his running mate, as she is a staunch loyalist.
Trump lashed out against Fox News on Friday, criticizing the network's first GOP primary debate on Wednesday night, which he chose to skip with the remarks: "The Debate on FoxNews had a hard time with the proverbial RATINGS. It was one of the lowest rated EVER, if not THE LOWEST. It showed that many of those participating are 'second tier' and merely 'pretenders to the throne'."
The former President posted the remarks on his social media platform, Truth Social.
"Some of the answers were so bad, with delivery even worse. The numbers were less than half what I had in 2016, not a good way to start the fight against Crooked Joe Biden, and his Lunatic Thugs. We will not let this happen. MAGA!," Trump said.
However, Fox TV claimed the debate was television’s best performing non-sports programme of the year.
The first of the Republican sponsored GOP debate hosted by FOX TV at Milwaukee live on Wednesday in Wisconsin state saw eight of the nine presidential hopefuls sparring each other. But with Trump's absence, the programme drew lower ratings than previous GOP debates, media reports led by the HILL said.
Abortion, crime, law and order, border issue and Ukraine funding dominated the agenda for discussion.
Only two of the candidates former New Jersy Governor Chris Christie, the best performer and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison literally declined to endorse Trump, claiming the legal authorities could take recourse under the 14th amendment to debar him from contesting as the provision does not permit any citizen indicted or convicted of conspiracy or criminal conspiracy to contest the presidential elections.
About 13 million people watched the show, compared to about 20 million who tuned in for the first Republican presidential debate in 2015, at the beginning of Trump’s first White House bid. This is the 3rd bid by Trump for the White House in 2024.
Though it's a dramatic fall from the 2015 ratings, the Milwaukee debate is however considered a success, by a section of the US media as it says as millions of Americans cut cords, and Fox News managed to capture the most eyeballs for the show in recent times, reports said.
Trump had chosen to skip the debate as he considered it futile because he was already well ahead of the opponents in ratings at 53 per cent, a commanding lead over of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 16 per cent and Indian American entrepreneur a close third with 11 per cent.
Trump outdid the debaters by releasing an 46 minute taped sit down interview with the fired former host Tucker Carlson of Fox TV, in which he continued to maintain that the 2020 elections were stolen and that the prosecuting democrats were "really sick and savage animals" drawing angry remonstrances from the democratic party.
The second 2024 GOP primary debate, to be held on September 27 and air on Fox Business, Trump has indicated he does not plan to attend any GOP debates leading up to the primaries of the Republican party to pick a candidate among the nine hopefuls.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu however believes Trump will not be the GOP's 2024 nominee. He told NPR news network but did not elaborate on the reasons. He did not subscribe to the theory that the Trump 2020 elections were stolen.
Trump , who arrived from his Bedminister residence in New Jersey by his private plane, surrendered to the Fulton County Jail authorities on Thursday to be fingerprinted and mugshot, the first President in American politics to do so, and releasing it on the social media to press home what he claimed to be his political advantage. He said with every indictment his electoral prospects only went up. He had also said I will never surrender.
Releasing his mugshot on social media however drew mixed responses from his supporters, democrats and independent voters, who hold the swing vote in many states. Slightly more than half of the respondents to a Politico-IPSO poll felt that Trump had brought down the dignity of the presidential race to abysmal depths by being fingerprinted and mugshot like an ordinary criminal and releasing it on the social media was the worst act as he was supposed to be role model to all Americans.
Trump has maintained throughout that he has done nothing wrong in any of the cases in which he has been arraigned indicted from the hush money paid to adult porn star Stormy Daniels to election subversion by preventing officials from certifying his defeat leading upto the attack on the Capitol and election meddling in Georgia asking a state official to find votes for him to defeat Joe Biden, besides the tax fraud case against him in lower manhattan courts by DA Letitia James.
Trump has a series of cases being lined up in court to stand trial which extends beyond May 2024 starting from September 2023.
All 18 co-defendants with Trump standing trial in September, as anticipated by prosecutor DA Fan Willis, have been released on personal bonds ranging from $200,000 of Trump with the former President paying only 10 per cent and rest coughed up by a Fulton Bailbondsman co, to $100,000 and $75,000 for his counsels Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman respectively.
Floyd is the only alleged conspirator who is in jail as he could not negotiate his bond in time.