A little more than an hour into Tuesday night’s G.O.P. presidential primary debate, most of the Republican hopefuls were ready for a commercial break. Most of the moderators were, too. So were the majority of viewers, and certainly, the advertisers who paid a pretty penny for their spots to air.
But Rand Paul and debate moderator and Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker had another idea.
Just before the planned break on Fox Business Network, Baker asked Donald Trump about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, the full text of which was released last week. Trump gave a long-winded reply, in which he referred to it as “a horrible bill” several times, and spent the bulk of time bringing up how China is leaving America in the dust.
“It’s a deal that was designed to lead to China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone,” he said.
When Trump finally concluded, Paul piped up: “Hey Gerard,” he said. “We might want to point out [that] China’s not part of this deal.” He was correct. The crowd began to cheer, and at the same time, the sweet, sweet music leading up to a commercial break started to play. But no music could stop Baker or Paul, who were swept away in the moment, of trapping Trump in his own China tirade.