It’s becoming clear that Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t gaining altitude like it was a month ago. Because his polling has plateaued and because Carly Fiorina eviscerated him at the CNN/Reagan Library Debate, Mr. Trump’s been exceptionally grumpy. Until now, the pundits haven’t thrown the hard punches at Mr. Trump. That came to a screeching halt last night when National Review’s Rich Lowry ripped Mr. Trump while praising Mrs. Fiorina in the same sentence.
Lowry wasn’t gentle. He didn’t pull his punches. He simply said “Look Trump attacks everyone but she’s become a much bigger target. And I think part of what’s going on here is that last debate. Let’s be honest, Carly cut his balls off with the precision of a surgeon.”
Naturally, Mr. Trump couldn’t sit silent. Instead, he replied “.@FoxNews owes me an apology for allowing clueless pundit @RichLowry to use such foul language on TV. Unheard of!” Mr. Trump has a point. Mr. Lowry’s language is almost as disgusting as a presidential candidate criticizing a debate moderator, then accusing her of asking tough questions because she was menstruating.
Mr. Trump wasn’t finished. He declared that he wouldn’t be appearing on Fox’s shows “for the foreseeable future.” Trump’s boycott might not be all it’s cracked up to be:
“At 11:45am today, we canceled Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance on The O’Reilly Factor on Thursday, which resulted in Mr. Trump’s subsequent tweet about his ‘boycott’ of FOX News. The press predictably jumped to cover his tweet, creating yet another distraction from any real issues that Mr. Trump might be questioned about. When coverage doesn’t go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. He doesn’t seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.”
Good for Fox, especially for saying that Trump “doesn’t seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.” Mr. Trump’s shtick is getting tiresome. If a critic wanted to use the words Mr. Trump used about Mrs. Fiorina after the first debate, “listening to [him] for more than 5 minutes gives me a headache” certainly would fit.
Mr. Trump won’t see another meteoric rise in his ratings because he isn’t viewed as invincible anymore. A month ago, the race was about how his personality dominated the race. That phase of the campaign ended. The second debate required the top performers to give substantive answers on important topics. Trump failed that test miserably, as did Dr. Carson.
That’s why Mrs. Fiorina and Sen. Rubio got the highest grades of the night.
Mr. Trump’s whining won’t grow his numbers anymore. If he doesn’t turn into a serious candidate who can explain his positions on the important issues, he’ll continue to lose altitude.