With just days remaining before the first voting of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump is leading, despite his controversial, colorful style. Rough Cut – Subtitled (no reporter narration).
Trump’s dramatic flair dominates election
ROUGH CUT – SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Just days ahead of the Iowa caucuses, when the first verdicts will be delivered in the 2016 presidential election cycle, billionaire businessman Donald Trump dominates election reporting, making news again on Thursday (January 28) when he refused to participate in the last televised Republican presidential debate before the Feb. 1 Iowa Caucus.
Instead, Trump held a rally for veterans to counter the debate, following a dispute with Fox News and criticizing the network’s anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
On Tuesday (January 26), Trump said he would not participate in the debate, scheduled for Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, expressing irritation at Fox for allowing Kelly to moderate after her questioning angered him in a debate last year.
From almost the moment Trump announced he would seek the Republican nomination for president, he has engendered criticism, outrage and support for his colorful speeches, dramatic policy statements, and insults of fellow candidates, reporters, and sometimes entire ethnic groups.
Trump invited the ire of Mexican authorities at his candidacy announcement at how he characterized Mexican immigrants to the United States.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said in June 2016.
Later last year Trump proposed “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” citing fears of potential terrorism of refugees from Syria.
The confrontational real estate mogul also criticized Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain, deriding his work in the Senate, calling him “a loser” for his defeat in the 2008 White House race and dismissing his time imprisoned in Vietnam.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said at a gathering in Ames, Iowa, of religious conservatives after the event’s moderator, pollster Frank Luntz, used the phrase to describe McCain. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
At a news conference later, Trump softened his comments, saying, “If a person is captured, they are a hero as far as I’m concerned.”
McCain, a Navy fighter pilot, spent more than five years during the Vietnam War in a Hanoi prison after being shot down, and was tortured by his captors.
His disdain for McCain did not transfer to McCain’s 2008 running mate Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor-turned-reality TV star.
Palin offered a passionate endorsement to Trump last week, the reality TV star-turned-politician, promising Trump would take care of soldiers and defeat Islamic State.
It is unclear whether Palin can attract additional support to Trump, whose own blunt rhetoric has helped lift him to the top of the crowded Republican field.
For months, Trump has chosen to operate in his own political universe, violating the conventional wisdom that governs presidential campaigns, thumbing his nose at conservative institutions ranging from the Fox News Channel to the National Review and advocating policies at odds with party orthodoxy.
And whether he wins the Iowa caucuses on Monday (February 1), Trump’s candidacy promises to continue to upend the established political order as the presidential race intensifies ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Most national opinion polls have him with more than 30 percent of the Republican primary electorate.
If Trump loses next Monday in Iowa – he is locked in a close race with Senator Ted Cruz in the state – polls show him with large leads in New Hampshire and South Carolina, the next states to hold nominating contests.