I’ve talked to several of the campaigns about debate strategy tonight and, particularly, how to handle Donald Trump.
The overwhelming sentiment is that they are not. They are going to let Megyn Kelly do it — Bret Baier too, but Megyn is the one whose name got mentioned the most.
One of the campaign strategists I talked to said he was hoping for a “Karl Rove and Ohio” moment with Megyn.
In particular, they all acknowledge that if they engage Trump, they only further establish him as the front runner. Likewise, given the debate timing and format, if they go after Trump, that distracts from the time that they will have to be able to make their own points on stage.
But, noted one of the consultants, if you watched the O’Reilly interview the other day with Trump, Trump did not have a real answer on how Mexico would pay for the wall Trump claims they will pay for.
The moderators at Fox are not going to be inclined to settle for that. They will push Trump and they will open up the opportunity for other candidates to respond to the question without having to challenge Trump.
In short, the other candidates on stage have no intention of confronting Donald Trump. They are going to let Megyn Kelly take care of him.