In a post-debate monologue aired on ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ FOX News host Jesse Watters did not mince words when dissecting the performance and prospects of the GOP candidates who took the stage for the second GOP primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Residential Library.
“The seven candidates onstage must prove they are the future of the party. If they can’t, goodbye,” Watters said. He emphasized the noticeable absence of a certain dominating figure, alluding to former President Donald Trump, noting the “delicate dance” candidates must navigate in current GOP politics.
Trump’s looming presence over the party and the debate stage was evident. Watters discussed the recent allegations and actions taken against the former president, citing the recent efforts by Democratic officials to revoke Trump’s New York business license over claims that he inflated his net worth.
Watters contrasted the alleged $18 million valuation with real estate broker valuations reaching as high as $725 million. The case alleged that the former President exaggerated his net worth by up to $3.6 billion annually, enabling him to secure favorable loan conditions and insurance premiums.
Watters explained, “Soviet style prosecutions and property seizures against the leader of your party, a former president can’t be dismissed as ‘politics’ that will change, if you vote for me instead.”
“Whether you are running against the victim of injustice or not, it is well past time for the GOP candidates to take a clear stance,” Watters said as he slammed the left. The message is clear for the 2024 GOP candidates. Proving their worth and navigating the Trump factor will be a challenge they must rise to, or face the risk of fading into political irrelevance.
Wednesday night, as expected, was dominated by candidates struggling for relevancy talking over one another in a gasping bid for prime airtime while moderators struggled to control the frenzy. Stuart Varney of Fox Business set the tone of the evening by badly mispronouncing the name of his co-host Ilia Calderón of Univision, eventually giving up and letting her lead the introduction of the panel.
Calderón, a newcomer to Republican presidential debates, made feeble attempts to interject while being essentially ignored by debate participants. The exchange played out again and again throughout the night while also-ran candidates like Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Doug Burgum, and Chris Christie aimed their arrows at Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy who so far have led the alternatives to former President Donald Trump.
Megyn Kelly, no stranger to moderating the rough and tumble of presidential politics, put it even more simply, saying the moderators had “lost control” by this point.
Moderators, once again, lost all control
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) September 28, 2023
Matt Schlapp, chair of the Conservative Political Action Conference, joked that the loquacious shout-fest was more akin to a “Fox News ratings meeting” than an event worthy of the next U.S. president. The swipe was directed at the network’s struggle in maintaining viewers for debates without former President Donald Trump, forcing Fox to drastically cut the price of advertising for Wednesday night’s debate.
Absolute chaos at the GOP debate tonight.
If they were trying to make themselves look like the mature alternatives to Trump…
Instead, it looks like a Fox News ratings meeting. pic.twitter.com/wDP8wrBCRa
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) September 28, 2023
Glenn Beck, a Fox alum, used the hashtag “Fox failure” to describe the bedlam.
I have officially given up on this stupid @foxdebate. #SHUTUP this is the worst debate i have seen in my lifetime. Why does the @gop keep going to the networks? Only winner: Trump because he is not anywhere near. #foxfailure
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) September 28, 2023