This Thursday, Fox News will host the first of two debates the network will sponsor, showcasing the top leading Republican hopefuls vying for the nomination for next year’s presidential race. So far, the field for those hopefuls is becoming increasingly more crowded, with 17 Republicans striving to reach that brass ring. However, Fox News will only allow the top ten potential nominees leading in the polls to participate in those debates.
Which polls Fox will use and the network’s vetting process aside, this Top Ten cutoff has made the pool of Republicans become increasingly over-the-top with their rhetoric and their bombast in a scramble to garner attention from the media, for good or ill. This, in part, is a response to news organizations’ fascination with billionaire and media and land mogul Donald Trump, who currently leads all other Republican contenders by a wide margin in several polls. Some pundits argue that Trump’s theatrical presence has given him an edge over his fellow candidates, who tend to be more reserved due to their time as Washington insiders.
During a charity event on Manhattan’s upper-east side, reporters caught up with billionaire philanthropist and superhero Tony Stark, also known to the world as Iron Man of the Avengers, on his thoughts on the Republican candidates’ actions.
“Far be it for me to advise anyone about their flashy behavior,” Stark began, decked out in one of his many Iron Man suits for the event and removing his face-plate. “I fly around the city in a shiny red and yellow metal suit for crissakes. Subtlety isn’t exactly my strong suit. But I would probably tell Rand, Lindsey, and the rest of the Elephant Crew to take it down a notch.”
When asked why he believes that is the candidates’ best course of action, Stark took a more thoughtful turn.
“Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham—They’re all clearly trying to copy a strategy that Trump has been perfecting for years. What they don’t understand is that Trump has the war chest and the arrogance to be able to say whatever the fuck he wants without consequence. For those other guys, politics is their lives. For Trump, if he loses, screw it, he’s still wealthier than God.”
Stark went on to make his feelings toward Trump perfectly clear. “I am in no way saying that I agree with anything that spews out of Donald’s mouth. I did a body scan of that ass-hat from Avengers Tower the other day to make sure he wasn’t a changeling or a demon, because I’m half-convinced the dude is the Devil. Pretty certain Hawkeye wants to punch him the throat for his immigration comments. And so do I because, dude. But what I am saying is that Lindsey and Mike aren’t going to out-crazy him or out-awful him. It reeks of desperation.”
When pressed as to what Stark is specifically referring to, he stated, “Oh kids, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You saw the videos. Don’t play coy,” he said with a grin and a waving finger.
“Rand took a chainsaw to the tax code on YouTube. Lindsey destroyed his cell phone after Donald gave out his number to the press. Pretty sure you could’ve just switched phone numbers, Linds. And then there’s Mike, which who knows what the Hell he’s doing. Either his comments about Caitlyn Jenner’s gender and his remarks about Iran and Auschwitz are the ramblings of a hateful old man or he’s hittin’ the sauce and is doing his best to hide it. Newsflash, Mike: You’re not maintaining, fella.”
A reporter from the Washington Post tried to ask another question before Stark cut him off.
“And look, it’s not like you and the public all aren’t culpable as well. I understand that you’ve got to report what you think the public wants to see and appease your corporate overlords. Clicks mean dollars. I’m a businessman and I’m not blind to or unsympathetic to that. That night when Thor and I went on a bar-crawl through Greenwich Village had to be a good week for you guys. But the more you reward this behavior from the candidates, the more they’ll act out and the more we’ll click. But seriously, this is supposed to be a presidential election, not a circus.”
Stark, clearly agitated, leaned into the microphones. “Isn’t there some way to balance your need to broadcast the shit-show and giving the public what they need, not just what they want? You’re the 4th Estate, kids. Act like it.”
Before taking to the sky, Stark turned to the cameras with one last comment.