It’s about time someone came out and said it directly. One of the moderators from the recent CNN debate, right-wing talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, finally blurted it out during a segment on CNN: Republicans don’t care about facts or accuracy.
The rest of us have been aware of this problem for quite some time now, but it’s nice to hear it articulated by one of the most prominent Republican talkers from the conservative entertainment complex. GOP voters, he said, aren’t concerned with fact-checking the candidates. All they care about is who managed to fire off the best zingers.
While chatting about the Fox Business debate and fireworks between candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Hewitt said:
HEWITT: Using my boxing analogy, in the 15th round, Marco Rubio laid one on Ted Cruz. But here’s the deal about fact checkers. Nick Kristof, a terrific columnist for “The New York Times,” tweeted out that Donald Trump said, in fact, in his hearing that he wanted a 45 percent tariff. Fact checking doesn’t matter in these things. What matters is personality, an aura and your command presence. And of all those two, the best command presence last night was Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. And I keep marveling at how Donald Trump can dominate a television screen. He reaches through the screen sometimes, and you know, you’re back on “Celebrity Apprentice.” It’s an amazing skill set.
So, basically, the Republicans can say anything they want with impunity — just as long as they say it with a commanding presence. Got it. Well, this explains a lot. By the way, it’s not entirely unique to the 2016 race, either. Mitt Romney used this fact-free strategy against President Obama in 2012. You might recall how Romney more or less trampled Obama during the first debate. But it was only — and I mean only — because Romney blurted out any old nonsense that popped into his head, and he said it with authority, leaving Obama somewhat confounded as to the best way to counterattack Romney’s fabricated gibberish.
Knowing all this, and now that the cat is out of the bag, the next GOP debate should be especially chaotic.
Watch the video below:
Featured image via video screen grab.