Bill O’Reilly recently invited Donald Trump on The O’Reilly Factor and spent the most of its duration attempting to persuade the business mogul to cave in and participate in Thursday’s GOP debate hosted by Fox News.
On Tuesday, after some back-and-forth with Fox News, the Republican presidential frontrunner announced his decision to skip the primary debate because of co-moderator Megyn Kelly and a Fox News press release that apparently made fun of his claims of journalistic mistreatment.
However, in a move that appears to defy Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, O’Reilly not only interviewed Trump, he repeatedly tried to convince him to reconsider his decision, pointing out that the billionaire was “making a bad decision.” The host even tried to imply that Trump should forgive Kelly for tough questioning, trying to invoke his Christian faith and the tenet of forgiveness.
“You are depriving people of seeing you in a forum they want to see you in,” O’Reilly said to Trump. “You're running for president. I believe you want to improve the country. I believe that personally. You lose an opportunity to persuade people that you are a strong leader.”
However, Trump being Trump, responded by bringing up the “eye for an eye” principle and refused to budge from his stance.
The thing is, Trump might be a lot of things, but he is definitely not stupid. If he skips the debate, he knows he will be giving his rivals a platform to slam and criticize him without fears of any retaliation — at least until the debate ends.
But, what if it’s a stroke of genius that would prevent Trump from slipping up on the eve of Iowa voting while simultaneously costing Fox millions of dollars in revenue along with affecting its viewership? That's a fact that the business mogul very proudly shared on Twitter recently.
On Greta, 87% of the people said they would not watch the debate if I'm not in it. Wow- what an honor!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2016
Or it could all be just another publicity stunt favoring both Fox News and the former reality TV star. Imagine the spike in TV ratings if Trump agrees to participate in the Thursday night debate at the last minute. However, since Trump is holding a rally in Des Moines on the very same day to raise money for veterans’ organizations, it seems likely he'll make good on his promise not to show up.
Trump’s decision to boycott Fox’s primary debate is nothing more than a failed attempt at bullying on his part.
The Republican presidential hopeful tried to coerce Ailes into excluding Trump’s supposed tormentor and long-time critic Megyn Kelly, who is scheduled to be one of the three debate moderators on Thursday, reportedly fearing that he would not receive fair treatment.
Toward the end of the interview, Trump also called out the host for asking him a question that they had apparently agreed ahead of time O’Reilly wouldn’t ask.
Watch their interaction in the video above.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo