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Trump attacks Fox News for using ‘worst’ photos of him: ‘Especially the big orange one’

‘They purposely show the absolutely worst pictures of me, especially the big ‘orange’ one with my chin pulled way back’

Gustaf Kilander,Oliver O'Connell
Tuesday 22 August 2023 20:46 BST
Related video: GA party leaders react to Trump indictment

Donald Trump has taken to lashing out at Fox News, claiming that the network is working with other Republican candidates to figure out who can beat him in the GOP primary, while using unflattering “orange” photos of him and negative polls.

The former president initially took to Truth Social to say that the network is “going all out, just as they did in 2016, to figure who in this very large, but failing Republican field, can beat your favorite President, Donald John Trump”.

“They use only the most negative polls, which are still great for me, and do everything possible to show that they still have a chance,” he added. “They even pull out nice guy Marc Thiessen to do contortions with numbers that just don’t exist. On top of all that, I am the only one beating, by a lot, Crooked Joe Biden, the WORST ‘P’ EVER!”

Mr Thiessen, a Washington Post columnist, Fox News commentator, and former White House director of speechwriting under George W Bush, wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday that “64 per cent of Americans say they definitely or probably will not vote for Trump in 2024 (53 per cent definitely + 11 per cent probably). Like watching a slow-moving train wreck for the GOP”.

He was referring to reporting and polling by the Associated Press outlining Mr Trump’s steadfast and growing support within the Republican Party but declining ratings with the general electorate.

On Thursday morning, the former president further wrote about the network’s morning show: “Why doesn’t Fox and Friends show all of the Polls where I am beating Biden, by a lot. They just won’t do it!”

He followed that by complaining: “Also, they purposely show the absolutely worst pictures of me, especially the big “orange” one with my chin pulled way back. They think they are getting away with something, they’re not. Just like 2016 all over again…And then they want me to debate!”

Later in the week, Mr Trump said he will not participate in the first Republican primary debate to be hosted by Fox News and scheduled for 23 August, also implying that the same would be true of the later debates.

He argued on Truth Social: “The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more. I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”

Former president and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump visits the Iowa Pork Producers Tent during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on 12 August 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

A number of Republicans have argued that the party must choose a new standard-bearer as Mr Trump’s standing with the public at large has only gotten worse since the 2020 election following the Capitol riot and the chaos around him, specifically in connection to his mounting legal problems and the litany of felony charges he faces.

Anti-Trump Republican strategist Sarah Longwell told the AP: “There is a meaningful number of voters who have voted for Trump twice and can’t vote for him again after all of this.”

Comparatively, according to the polling from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 43 per cent said they definitely wouldn’t vote for President Joe Biden, in addition to 11 per cent who said they probably wouldn’t.

“Trump needs to embody the voters’ grievances and not his own grievances,” Ms Longwell added. “Anytime he’s talking about 2020 he’s looking backwards and the voters get more excited about looking forward.”

CPAC chair Matt Schlapp responded to Mr Thiessen on X, saying: “I love you @marcthiessen. You are a good man. Stop this. Trump has to be the nominee because we have to take it all down. It’s that bad and no one else will be able to do it.”

Historian Aaron Aster wrote, “The key item in this poll is that 53% will ‘definitely not’ vote for Trump. 43% will ‘definitely not’ vote for Biden. (10-11% ‘probably’ won’t vote for each, respectively). The ‘definitely’ numbers are more important at this stage bc they set the parameters of possible outcomes.”

While he added that “early General Election polling is mostly hot garbage because lots of people pay little attention at this point,” he noted that “the ‘definite’ numbers are more likely to pick up the hard ceiling. Yes, those numbers can change a bit too. But in this case they reflect hardening among Independents against Trump – and a small but decisive group of non-Trump GOPers. And less hard-core anti-Biden among Dems”.

“A lot of people who really don’t want to vote for Biden but despise Trump will likely vote Biden in the end,” the historian speculated.

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