Donald Trump has been grumbling that CNN should pay him for being in their debate a couple of weeks from now. He says he’s been talking with CNN about this, but today he caved:
“When you’re leading in the polls, I think it’s too big of a risk to not do the debate,” Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. “I don’t think I have the kind of leverage I’d like to have in a deal and I don’t want to take the chance of hurting my campaign. So I’ll do the debate.”
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: your master negotiator at work. The guy who’d get Mexico to pay for a wall. The guy who’d squeeze Iran like a grape. The guy who’d save us from the wily Chinese. The guy who thinks we got taken for a ride in the TPP talks. The guy who insists he could do better on all these things because our current government is full of very stupid people.
But when it comes to pressing CNN for a bit of chump change, he can’t pull it off. He can’t even get a face-saving little tidbit out of it. CNN told him to get lost, and he promptly folded. He was bluffing the whole time and everyone knew it.
Trump’s record makes it pretty clear that every deal he’s ever negotiated has been pretty routine. His buildings are no more successful than anyone else’s. His golf resorts are, perhaps, a little less successful than average. The only thing he’s been really good at is reality TV. What a blowhard.