Thursday’s Republican debate on Fox News Channel could be Round 2 of Megyn Kelly versus Donald Trump. But the journalist and fellow moderators say they are not preparing to stoke the fire with questions about his headline-grabbing battles with the network.
Trump accused Kelly of lobbing him tougher questions than those directed at his rivals in an August debate that was the Republican candidates’ first televised encounter. Kelly asked about Trump’s remarks about women, prompting a stream of attacks from the candidate, who skipped a Fox debate in January.
“Frankly, I have been ready for seven months to move beyond what happened after that August debate,” Kelly said in a recent interview. “I feel like it’s getting boring. Trump has bigger things to worry about, and so do I.”
The brash billionaire’s unfiltered style has helped generate unprecedented ratings for news networks including Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc .
The cable channel’s August debate attracted 24 million viewers, a record for a presidential primary debate on any network, according to Nielsen. The January forum without Trump drew 12.5 million, still the second-largest audience in the network’s history.