9 p.m. ET: Megyn Kelly's voter forum with Cruz and Rubio (and Kasich and Carson)

In case you can’t wait for tomorrow’s night debate to watch Cruz unload on Trump and Rubio not unload on Trump, Fox News brings you a forum featuring two guys who have zero chance of winning the nomination and another two guys who … have zero chance of winning the nomination. What about “Donaldus Maximus,” as Rush Limbaugh is now calling him? How come he couldn’t make it tonight to chat with Kelly about which holes she might be bleeding out of? The official explanation is that he had a scheduling conflict:

“The campaign has a previous engagement in Virginia and then New York, which could not be rescheduled. Given this was just proposed at the last minute it was not possible to change our plans in order to attend. Mr. Trump looks forward to participating in the next FOX News debate,” Hicks wrote in an email…

Kelly “will engage with the candidates individually on stage and ask them about their policies and where their campaigns stand after Tuesday night’s Nevada caucus and ahead of Super Tuesday,” a press release from Fox News states. The event “will also feature an interactive audience of Texas voters who will be able to pose questions to the candidates, each of whom will be on stage one at a time with Kelly.”

The unofficial explanation is that the last thing this guy needs when he’s on a glide path to Cleveland and poised to knock Cruz out next week on Super Tuesday is a dangerous interview one-on-one with a reporter who’s not afraid to challenge him. A Kelly/Trump interview tonight would have been the talk of political media and beyond; ratings would have been stratospheric. If Trump messed up somehow, it would risk ruining an all but sure victory. Besides, Matt Taibbi’s right. Since when does Trump, a hero to his fans for his bravado, agree to lengthy on-air conversations with journalists who aren’t his friends?

Scarborough isn’t really saying that he was the first pundit to call Trump a serious contender. What he’s really bragging about is that he was the first media figure smart enough to strap on his kneepads in exchange for access once he saw that the Trump campaign was going places. He seems genuinely to think the rest of us are just jealous that we didn’t think to do that first.

The reality, of course, is that Scarborough currently is winning the access battle with Trump because Donald Trump, like the Chinese emperors of yore who surrounded themselves with eunuchs as palace guards, refuses to interact with anyone who threatens him in any way.

The most prominent journalist in America who threatened Trump this year, with a single question at a single debate that did nothing to slow his momentum, was Kelly. Result: Scheduling conflict.

As for Kasich and Carson, expect some key questions tonight like “Why are you still running?” and “Why are you still running?” Here’s audio of Rush’s “Donaldus Maximus” quip. If you’re even a casual Limbaugh listener, you know the comparison he’s trying to draw. See now why I said here that Trump has exposed the conservative movement as being an inch deep? I’m going to go vomit blood now. Click the image to listen.


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David Strom 12:31 PM on December 01, 2022