The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Trump refused to attend Iowa debate before caucus

On Jan. 26, Donald Trump shocked the political world when he announced that he would not be participating in the last debate before the Iowa caucus would cast their votes.

Trump’s journey to boycotting the event commenced when Fox News channel announced that one of the moderators for the debate would be journalist and political commentator Megyn Kelly.

Kelly and Trump are no strangers to one another and have been in a bitter feud ever since Kelly hosted the first GOP debate in August.

During the August debate, Kelly asked Trump a series of questions he deemed to be tough.

One of those questions occurred when Kelly asked Trump if he had the correct “temperament” to be president of the United States given the fact that, “you’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

Two days after that debate, Trump had everyone talking when he made a controversial remark on CNN with Don Lemon.

During the interview, Trump spoke of Kelly’s behavior towards him at the debate and told the world that, “you could see that there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever.”

To most viewers, Trump was suggesting that Kelly was on her menstrual cycle.

Since that interview, Trump and Kelly have been engulfed in a Twitter battle and, when Kelly was chosen to co-moderate the GOP debate in Des Moines, Iowa, the feud continued.

Trump took to Instagram on Jan. 26, where he posted a video in which he suggested that Kelly would be biased against him because of their tumultuous history. He also took to Twitter, where he polled his followers, asking them whether or not he should attend the debate.

Shortly afterwards, Fox News released a statement saying, “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president—a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

It was this comment by Fox News that broke the straw on the camel’s back.

Following that statement by Fox, Trump’s campaign released their own statement saying, “Roger Ailes and Fox News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games.”

In addition to not attending the debate, it was also added that Trump would be hosting his own event in Iowa on that same night to raise money for veterans and Wounded Warriors.

This led to more back-and-forth between Fox News and Trump, which continued until moments before the debate.

When Thursday night came and Trump wasn’t in the center of the debate stage, everyone knew that after months of Trump threatening to boycott Fox News, he finally did it.

His event, located at Drake University in Des Moines, gathered full capacity on the same night.

“I didn’t want to be here, to be honest, I wanted to be about five minutes away,” Trump told crowds of supporters, according to Reuters. “When you’re treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights —whether we like it or not.”

While some agree with Trump’s boycott, many believe this to be yet another one of Trump’s antics that prove he isn’t qualified to be president.

“I think this is another indication to voters that he is not a serious presidential candidate,” junior David Rosario said. “If he wasn’t so egocentric, he would have no problem doing the debate and I think people would respect him slightly more if he played along.”

Similarly, junior Chevonese James said, “I think that if, by some miracle, he does become president, he’ll have this same attitude. If you can’t handle the annoyance of the best political debates, you don’t deserve to be president. Don’t act childish, Donald Trump.”

His no-show at the debate may have hurt his political campaign too, after Republican candidate and Texas Junior Senator Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus on Feb. 1.

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