The various GOP candidates who felt either mistreated or ignored in the debate last week decided that they weren’t going to take it anymore from those meanies who kept asking tough questions, so they all got together to whimper like cranky kids in need of a nap (not to mention a potch on the tuchus). Via the Washington Post:
GOP campaign operatives began arriving at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town at around 5:30 p.m. Sunday and headed upstairs to what had been code-named “family dinner.”
As the meeting got underway, senior strategists from several presidential campaigns revealed in e-mails and text messages that Priebus’s staff shake-up was not enough. One campaign manager, speaking about the private meeting on the condition of anonymity, wrote: “Major question is if the RNC should be involved at all.”
The campaigns reached an early consensus on one issue, according to several operatives in the room: the secure standing of Fox News Channel. Any changes would be applied to debates after next week’s Fox Business Network debate. Among the reasons, according to one operative in the room, was that “people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes] mad,” a reference to the network’s chief.
Bush campaign manager Danny Diaz recommended that Telemundo be reinstated after being dropped along with NBC. But the campaign of businessman Donald Trump, represented by manager Corey Lewandowski, threatened to boycott a debate if the Spanish-language network that Trump has clashed with was granted one.
Representatives from the undercard campaigns of Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told reporters that they would focus on what Graham adviser Brett O’Donnell called “equal treatment” for their campaigns — two debates, each with seven randomly selected candidates.
Ben Carson’s campaign manager, Barry Bennett, was hopeful that the group could agree on one two-hour debate with every candidate onstage.
“Of course, we’re not going to get five-minute opening statements,” Bennett said, but “you can do a lot in two hours.”
In sports this is called working the refs: if you can’t win the game by strategy or talent, you intimidate the referees to either make calls in your favor or not call a foul when you’ve committed one.
The Republicans are really good at this tactic. It generates applause in the audience, it puts the moderators on the defensive, and best of all, it gets the candidates off the hook in terms of actually answering the question.