Fox Appoints Itself a GOP Primary Gatekeeper
It’s finally official: Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News, will decide which candidates can compete in Republican presidential primaries next year.
Think I’m exaggerating?
The rules Fox recently announced for the first GOP debate Aug. 6 make the cable network a more influential player in the campaign than ever before.
Fox has said it will allow only 10 candidates onto the stage, and it will choose them according to their standing in the five most recent national polls. Candidates who miss the cut are basically out of luck.
“That first debate is huge,” Republican strategist David Winston told me. “That’s going to be a real sorting-out moment. Any candidate who can’t get into the first debate will be at a significant disadvantage.”
If the top-10 rule were applied today, the debate would include Donald Trump, whose potential as a presidential nominee is imaginary — but could exclude Rick Santorum, who finished second in the 2012 primary campaign, and Ohio’s John Kasich, the successful governor of the seventh-largest state.