Trump: I may charge CNN $5 million to appear in the debate « Hot Air: "Let’s play this out as if it’s serious, which seems unlikely. Say for a moment that Trump insisted on this demand, and got rejected, as CNN is certain to do. At that point he’d almost have to pull out of the debate, no? His dealmaking prowess is his hole card in this cycle, thanks to widespread dissatisfaction among Republicans with the congressional majorities who haven’t scored many victories and Barack Obama’s awful deal with Iran. If he can’t bend CNN to his will, he’d have to find a way to punish them. Showing up on stage after failing to make the deal would be an admission of defeat, and that might be a lot more costly to his standing with current supporters than a refusal to attend. But pulling out after this kind of stunt would almost certainly alienate any other voters who have not yet flocked to Trump’s banner — and worse yet, a substantive debate without Trump might have some of his softer supporters wondering whether they should still take him seriously.
CNN refused to respond to Trump’s remarks, and they’ll likely play it cool as long as Trump doesn’t actually deliver an ultimatum. Most of those outcomes being bad, Trump is a good enough businessman to keep from putting himself into that kind of corner. The longer he trolls CNN on the issue, though, the higher Trump will set expectations for that ultimatum, and that might trigger some of the negative consequences even without a showdown."
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