WFB’s Liz Harrington Breaks Down GOP Debate

• August 6, 2015 7:30 am


Washington Free Beacon reporter Elizabeth Harrington appeared on Fox Business on Thursday to discuss strategies for presidential candidates going into the first Republican debates. Harrington advised the Republican field to "stay above the fray" and counter Donald Trump by ignoring him.

Transcript below:

MARIA BARITROMO: Joining me now, Liz Harrington from the Washington Free Beacon and Katie Pavlich, Townhall front page editor. It's good to see you ladies. Katie, let me get your take, what are you anticipating tonight?

KATIE PAVLICH: Republicans have to do a very careful job of not wasting time on Donald Trump. With this many people on stage, when you focus your energy on him you won't look presidential and won't get to stand out on your issues. The other thing I'm looking for is how Rand Paul is going to come out of this debate. He's struggling to raise money, his campaign is falling apart, and he has to make a statement in order to stay in the race going forward.

BARITROMO: Wow, a lot of commentary on Rand Paul. We had the Overstock CEO on yesterday, Rand was his favorite candidate—we know he is a libertarian, very vocal about that. On our Millennial panel Katherine Timpf chose Rand as her favorite candidate.

SHANNON SMITH: Great to see you by the way. When you look at the 5:00 p.m. debate, focusing on the one Donald Trump isn't in, Bill Hemmer and Martha McCallum will be moderating that. Bill was on the show recently, and he basically compared this debate to the kiddie table with all those candidates who did not make it into the prime-time debate. But that has the potential to get really interesting. Donald Trump won't be in there, so the candidates will be able to focus on the issues. These are the underdogs. Possibly a big opportunity on a big stage for them.

PAVLICH: People who have a candidate who didn't make the top ten will be interested in watching the 5:00 p.m. debate. Lot of people are interested in Carly Fiorina. I am excited to see how she does against the other candidates. She is adamant about going after Hillary Clinton directly. She hasn't been going after other Republicans. So that will distinguish her from the rest of the group. We'll see if she can move up into the top 10.

KEITH MCCULLOUGH: Liz, it seems like there are 30 people running for this thing. Do you have to say something that gets a sound bite to move forward?

LIZ HARRINGTON: Certainly some candidates will feel that way, especially those on the outskirts of the stage, but really Katie is right. You don't want to focus on Donald Trump if you are Jeb Bush or Scott Walker. You want to but above the fray, not engage him and do your thing, make your case. Otherwise it will lessen your standing and it will prop him up. It will be interesting to see who is going to be the person to attack Donald Trump. If you call him out by name it gives him more time to make his case. You might see Chris Christie assume that role because he has that bombastic style. Maybe it will get some press attention, but do you want that media attention in the first place?

Published under: Republican Party