President Donald Trump blasted Fox News on Thursday for giving airtime to a pundit who criticized his debate performances in 2016, and network host Neil Cavuto served Trump an unpleasant truth in return.
In her analysis of billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s poor performance at Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, A. B. Stoddard of RealClearPolitics told Cavuto on his show that even Trump’s “disastrous” and “cringeworthy” 2016 debate performances did not hold him back from the presidency.
In a tweet soon afterward, Trump attacked Stoddard for being a “Trump hater” with “zero talent” and called on somebody at Fox News to explain that “I won every one of my debates.”
“Check the polls taken immediately after the debates,” he urged in the tweet.
He also suggested that the unfavorable coverage on his favorite network was orchestrated by former Republican House speaker and current Fox Corporation board member Paul Ryan, who has spoken out against Trump since leaving politics.
At the end of his program, Cavuto read aloud the president’s claim that he won the debates and delivered a blunt fact-check: “He did not.”
“When you look at polls that came out from Fox, NBC, CNN, Politico, YouGov, and a host of others, the initial read was that he had failed to do well in those debates. He ultimately won, but he did not do well in those debates,” Cavuto said.
Trump later ranted about the segment during his rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, blasting those who criticized his 2016 debate performance as “fake news” and claiming that the polls indicated “Trump kicked ass.”
In the past, Trump has been known to cite polls from illegitimate online surveys or right-wing sites such as Breitbart, instead of those from established pollsters that use representative samples.
Watch Trump’s tirade at the rally below.