Fox News' "Fox and Friends" on Wednesday hit back at Donald Trump with a video of him doing an 2011 interview with his now-nemesis, Megyn Kelly, concerning a GOP presidential debate
to be sponsored by Newsmax.
In the interview, he praised her moderating skills and ridiculed candidates who wouldn't participate.
"I'm not seeing a lot of courage here," Trump is shown telling Kelly in the interview, after only Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich had signed on.
When Kelly asked Trump if he thought he was "really a better moderator than I am?" he replied, "No, I could never beat you ... there'll be no contest. You have done a great job, by the way, I mean it."
Trump eventually backed out of the moderator's spot when he was considering an independent campaign of his own, and his ongoing feud with Kelly and her network has led him to drop out of Thursday night's debate, a move that Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told the morning show
is unprecedented after he watched the 2011 video.
"You'd have to go back to 1964, 1968, 1972 to find presidential candidates who refused to debate," the political expert told the program. "In the beginning, Trump said in the beginning that he's a little bit different. No, he's a lot different."
But the important thing, Sabato said, is what Iowans, who "take their process very seriously," think about Trump dropping out of the debate.
"Anybody's been out there knows how sober they are and how they approach this," Sabato said. "Are they feeling dissed? Do they feel trifled with? If so, then some of those undecided voters who may be leaning Trump could go someplace else, or maybe it'll be like it's been since he announced [his candidacy] ... his followers don't care."
And if Trump follows through on his threat to hold an alternative event?
"My guess is some of your rival networks will carry whatever it is Trump is doing and trying to poach your audience," Sabato told the Fox program. "I don't know what the numbers will be like, but he's got he's going to have a shining object he's going to flash in front of his supporters."
Meanwhile, if Trump is looking for fair treatment, running for public office is the wrong place to do that.
"People looking at this might say, 'Hey a president has to deal with unfairness every day, morning, noon, and night,'" Sabato said. "What does this say about his temperament in the Oval Office?"
© 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.