Amid a discussion that was both heated and contentious, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly managed to get a smile out of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on his Wednesday night show.
However, he did not get Trump to change his mind and agree to attend Thursday’s Republican residential debate. In fact, O’Reilly had to agree that he had broken a pre-show agreement with Trump in which O’Reilly had promised not to bring up the debate.
O’Reilly trotted out a variety of logical arguments to get Trump to appear at the debate, but none worked.
O’Reilly accused Trump of being “petty,” and said Trump’s decision was flawed. “Would you say that right now, Donald Trump is a person who can let petty things influence him to the extent that he doesn’t do what maybe he should do?” O’Reilly asked.
Then O’Reilly made his last-ditch case.
“Would you do me a favor? Look, you owe me it because I’ve bought you so many vanilla milkshakes!” O’Reilly said at last. “I’ve bought you so many vanilla milkshakes you owe me!”
Trump offered a smile in response, but no words.
“Will you just consider?” O’Reilly continued. “I want you to consider. Think about it. Say, ‘Look, I might come back forgive, go forward, answer the questions, look out for the folks.’ Just want you to consider it. You owe me milkshakes! I’ll take them off the ledger if you consider.”
“Well, even though you and I had an agreement that you wouldn’t ask me that, which we did, I will therefore forget that you asked me that,” Trump said.
O’Reilly admitted he had made that agreement.
“I told you up front don’t ask me that question because it’s an embarrassing question,” Trump added.
“But I’m not going to listen to any political person who tells me not to ask anything. But, you’re absolutely an honest man that I said I would try not to do it. But the milkshake thing just overwhelmed me. But I’m asking you to reconsider it,” O’Reilly said.
” … this odd exchange might tell us as much about Trump as anything else we’ve seen in his campaign. O’Reilly’s milkshake argument — and its ineffectiveness — is a prime example of just how strong Trump’s independent streak really is,” wrote Callum Borchers in The Washington Post.
Borchers noted that skipping the debate carries a risk for Trump.
“But bolstering his outsider image is more important. He wants voters to know that nothing — not even milkshakes — can make Donald J. Trump do something he doesn’t want to do,” Borchers wrote.