Fox News CEO Roger Ailes reportedly told network host Eric Bolling to defend Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on air. Bolling has repeatedly gone to bat for Trump, praising him as someone who "means business" and defending his controversial remarks.
Roger Ailes Reportedly Instructed Bolling To Defend Trump On-Air
New York Magazine's Sherman: Roger Ailes Told Bolling To Defend Trump. New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman reported on July 22 that Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has told The Five co-host Eric Bolling to "defend Trump on air":
One source explained that Ailes has instructed The Five co-host Eric Bolling to defend Trump on air. A review of Bolling's comments shows that over the past week, he's gone to bat for Trump numerous times. Last Friday, for example, Bolling complained that conservatives shouldn't be criticizing the real-estate mogul. "There's a problem in America, and it's not Donald Trump," Bolling declared. He continued to make pro-Trump arguments on Monday and Tuesday's shows. [New York Magazine, 7/22/15]
Bolling Has Repeatedly Gone To Bat For Trump, Lavishing Him With Praise And Defending His Controversial Remarks
Bolling Praised Trump In Interview: "I Like What Donald Trump Is Saying. I Like What He's Doing." During an interview with Donald Trump on the August 1 edition of Fox News' Cashin' In, host Eric Bolling praised Trump saying:
ERIC BOLLING: Yeah, so I've come out and said I like what Donald Trump is saying, I like what he's doing. I have a lot of -- a lot of my fans supports him, my fan base says I like Donald because he says what he means, means what he says, and it's refreshing to hear it, but I get beat up, even from some people in my own tent at times, for defending some of the things you're saying. [Fox News, Cashin' In, 8/1/15]
Bolling: Donald Trump Is Making The Rest Of Republican Presidential Field Better. On the June 17 edition of The Five, Bolling praised Trump, saying "Donald Trump is making the rest of the field better because he's speaking his mind" and "he's got the rest of the field thinking" (emphasis added):
BOLLING: Well. Look, I'm not done Donald Trump's spokesperson, but I will tell you I understand where he's coming from. We need to get tough with China. We need to get tough with all the other countries that are dumping their goods into America without any fees, but if we try to sell into Brazil, we try to sell into China, Japan, some of the other developed and developing countries, they charge us a fee, a tax. So it's like this unfair trade balance that goes on. I get it. He says get tough with them.
With regards to the southern border, we talked about it yesterday. And I had no idea what his plan was, but I suggested maybe -- I don't know, maybe telling Mexico we're going to pay you $2 less per barrel of oil. Every barrel we buy from you, all the millions of barrels per day that we buy from you and spend the money securing the border. Whether it's a fence, whether it's a moat, whatever you do. Even if it's not even a fence, even if it's a border patrol, pay the border patrol through that. Look, here's the thing. Donald Trump is making the rest of the field better because he's speaking his mind. He's talking to people who have ideas and who are angry about the way politics have been for the last 20, 30, 40 or 50 years. And then finally, someone's willing to step up and have some other ideas. Let's at least try them. Let's at least think about them. See whether or not you like Donald, but you think he can be your president or not, he's got the rest of the field thinking. I think that's a good thing. [Fox News, The Five, 6/17/15, via Nexis]
Bolling Defended Trump Calling Mexican Immigrants Criminals. On the July 8 edition of The Five, Bolling defended criticism from analyst Juan Williams of Trump calling Mexican immigrants criminals, claiming Trump was only talking about illegal immigrants:
JUAN WILLIAMS: We're going back to Trump. Trump had said this horrible thing about all Mexican immigrants coming across the border they're all criminals.
BOLLING: I'm not sure he said all.
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes. Oh, my gosh. OK, OK. So, you know, you guys -- so you, Eric especially, has been saying to me, "Oh, but the numbers don't prove that immigrants are any less likely to commit a crime." But in fact...
BOLLING: More likely.
WILLIAMS: You said more; you said more likely. No. According to the Washington Post fact checker, no evidence that immigrants commit more crime than people born in this country -- first-generation immigrant, all kinds of immigrants. First-generation immigrants actually have a lower crime rate.
BOLLING: We're talking about illegal, Juan. You're calling...
WILLIAMS: All kinds, legal and illegal.
BOLLING: That's a false argument.
WILLIAMS: Let me just finish here. And as immigration has increased in this country since the 1990s, the crime rate has gone down. They gave Trump four out of five Pinocchios for making stuff up.
BOLLING: I give you -- I give you seven out of five Pinocchios for that stat. [Fox News, The Five, 7/8/15, via Nexis]
Bolling: "I'm A Fan" Of Donald Trump. When discussing Trump's decision to sue Univision on the July 1 edition of The Five, Bolling said, "Donald Trump is just being Donald Trump on and off the campaign trail. I'm a fan." [Fox News, The Five, 7/1/15, via Nexis]
Bolling: People Calling For Boycotts Of Trump Products Are "Economic Terrorists." On the July 2 edition of The Five, Bolling criticized those calling for boycotts of Trump's products as "economic terrorists." [Fox News, The Five, 7/2/15]
Bolling: People See Trump As Someone Who Might Be Able To Bring About Change. On the July 10 edition of The Five, Bolling said Trump was appealing to those who "want change" and argued that people see Trump "as someone who might be able to bring that change":
BOLLING: I think what Donald Trump does is he taps into the feeling of people who are sick of big government, people who want change, don't like the direction of the country. And they see him as someone who might be able to bring that change, whereas some of the others that are running against him may not have that. Will he flame out, as everyone seems to think he's going to do? I don't know. [Fox News, The Five, 7/10/15, via Nexis]
Bolling: "I Find It Very Concerning" That Conservatives Are Criticizing Trump, "It Doesn't Make Sense." On the July 13 edition of The Five, Bolling criticized conservatives going after Trump, saying, "The opponent is liberal progressivism, not Donald Trump":
BOLLING: Right, I would say Chris Christie doesn't want to give Donald Trump anymore of the spotlight. Yes, so he's gonna say, they don't really ask me about that. I find it very concerning as a conservative on Fox and talk that I see other conservatives come on Fox. And rather than pointing the focus at the opponent, which is Hillary Clinton, the democrats, let's get the White House back. The focus, the guns are pointed directly at Donald Trump. They've called him a sideshow. They've called him a clown act. They called -- I don't want to get into a food fight with him. Really, guys? Come on let's go. The opponent is liberal progressivism, not Donald Trump.
Republican pundits coming on, taking shots at frontrunners. It doesn't make sense. Its part of the reason why the GOP is gonna have such a hard time winning another presidential election. [Fox News, The Five, 7/13/15, via Nexis]
Bolling: People "Believe" Trump "Means Business." On the July 17 edition of The Five, Bolling argued that people "believe Donald Trump," and they "believe he means business":
BOLLING: Well, I don't think it matters. I think what Donald Trump is tapping into is the angst, the collective angst of American voters, who are sick of business as usual in Washington, D.C. He's certainly not business as usual. He steps up and says, "I'm going to change things," and you believe him. When you hear hope and change out of President Obama and you get four more years, and eight more years. And then you hear Hillary Clinton basically saying the same rhetoric. And then you have the establishment right saying almost the same thing, and you don't believe them. You believe Donald Trump. Whether you like him or not, you believe he means business. He will make changes. I'm just surprised. I'm just honestly shocked that there are that many Republican pundits on the networks across all the cable networks trashing Donald Trump. There's a problem in America, and it's not Donald Trump. It's collective progressivism that needs to change. If anything, move further towards the Trump, not away from him. [Fox News, The Five, 7/17/15]
Bolling Defended Trump After He Attacked John McCain's War Heroism. On the July 20 edition of The Five, Bolling defended Trump's remark that Senator John McCain wasn't a war hero, suggesting "it just kind of fell out of his mouth" and that Trump "wished he could take it back":
BOLLING: Geraldo, do you really think that Donald Trump has disrespect or doesn't think that someone who is captured by the enemy and spent five years in captivity isn't a war hero? Do you honestly think that.
RIVERA: I think.
BOLLING: Do you think it just kind of fell out of his mouth and he, you know, he would wished he could take it back. Don't forget, the context of this was someone asked him about John McCain's service to the veterans and he said John McCain who dropped the ball as far as the veteran's administration. [Fox News, The Five, 7/20/15, via Nexis]
Bolling: Trump Is "Becoming A Better Candidate Over Time." On the July 23 edition of The Five, Bolling compared Trump's favorably to Hillary Clinton, saying he's more "comfortable" at the podium, and he's "becoming a better candidate over time" (emphasis added):
BOLLING: Juxtapose Donald Trump's comfortable nature at the podium with a very hostile press versus a Hillary who -- I don't know, her delivery when she's talking to people is just so off putting. She's -- it's almost like nails on a chalkboard at times.
She's not becoming -- when you watch Donald Trump, you say he's becoming a better candidate over time? Hillary is going in the opposite direction. [Fox News, The Five, 7/23/15, via Nexis]
Bolling Agrees With Greg Gutfeld's Assertion That Bolling "Love[s] Talking About Trump." On the July 24 edition of The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld said, "you love talking about Trump." Bolling responded by saying, "No, no, I do." (emphasis added):
BOLLING: And so this is Friday, right? And now we're talking about this. And Martin O'Malley said, did mention this on Sunglass Sunday, right?
WILLIAMS: Right, right, right.
BOLLING: Five days later, because of the big Trump announcement, the big Trump hoopla that the media that's been following Donald Trump around everywhere, this was something we started to talk about on Monday.
GUTFELD: But you love talking about Trump.
BOLLING: No, no, I do.
GUTFELD: That's what's you talked about. [Fox News, The Five, 7/24/15, via Nexis]