Fox’s Dana Perino Slaps Down Trump’s ‘Rigged Polls’ Claim

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Dana Perino has been throwing a dose of reality at Republicans about the lack of correlation between crowd size and election chances. And, apparently, it’s not sitting so well among her peers. Or maybe it's her peers who are not sitting so well with her.

It seems to have started Wednesday night with a series of tweets in which, among other things, Perino said, “Sure there are 11 weeks to go and a lot could change. I expect the polls to tighten a lot after Labor Day. But you can’t win a general... Election with the current state of campaign.” She also said, “The future of this party is at risk.”

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On Thursday, Perino followed up with a post on Medium, called “I Will Never Lie to You,” in which she wrote that the size of Trump’s rallies and his “robust social media following” are not more predictive of Election Day turnout than independent presidential polling. If rally size translated into votes, Perino noted, “Bernie Sanders would be the Democratic nominee right now.”

Perino also explained on Medium that she had fallen for the “skewed polls” rhetoric in 2012, only to have a rude awakening when Mitt Romney lost. “I vowed to never put myself in that position again,” she said.

Later, Perino visited The O’Reilly Factor where she reiterated her straight talk and discussed the blowback she has received.

From the Media Matters transcript:

PERINO: I think a lot of Republicans just expect me to be a cheerleader for the candidate and it’s - one, it’s not my job to do that. And also, I saw what happened in 2012 when Republicans were sold a bill of goods that Romney was going to win.

Then Perino said something very intriguing that host Bill O’Reilly did not follow up on.

PERINO: They want me to say something positive all the time, they want me to say that things are looking up, that things are gonna be great. The state of the GOP race right now is really bad. No candidate that has been this far behind in August has ever gone on to win.

Who’s “they?” People on Twitter? Republicans? Or the Trump cheerleaders at Fox News? O’Reilly did not ask.

Perino seemed outraged that Trump and his supporters would be promoting falsehoods about rigged polls.

PERINO: But you have even the candidate and his supporters starting to tell their voters that the polls are rigged. That’s not true. That the crowd size matters more than the polls, that’s not true. That his social media presence is so big and robust that it’s going to blow away Hillary Clinton. 

However, those “rigged polls” promoters include Fox hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Ainsley Earhardt and Bret Baier. Honorable Mention probably goes to Fox anchor Leland Vittert, who blamed the media for Trump’s poor polls numbers. And special recognition goes to Sean Hannity for promoting the conspiracy theory that the entire election is rigged.

On The Factor, O’Reilly tried to suggest that Perino is biased because she worked for George W. Bush who has been attacked by Trump.

But Perino swiped that away.

PERINO: I have thought from the beginning that Trump would very much be able to get 35-40% of the vote and not win the general election.

[…]

I don’t want the Republicans to lose. I believe that conservative values and the principles and our policies are much better than liberal ones. But I also don’t think that it is right to tell people that we are going to win this.

Perino reiterated that the polls could change and that she believes they will tighten. But, she said firmly, “This is not a general election strategy that can win at this point.”

PERINO: I do not think that by any stretch of the imagination that it is right to tell people that just because he has very enthusiastic rallies that that means that there is going to be a surprise and the polls are wrong. Polls in America, the presidential polls, have been correct since 1952. And we should believe them.

Nicely done, Ms. Perino. You're a woman of real scruples and ethics and it's a refreshing change for Fox News.

I wonder how much longer she'll be there.

Watch Perino below, from the August 18 The O’Reilly Factor, via Media Matters.


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Showing 14 reactions


commented 2016-08-21 11:43:20 -0400 · Flag
Well, Dana, when you live in a republican bubble and only get your news from Fox and hate radio then yes — you may legitimately have been “fooled” by the polls in 2012.

Or The narrative could be more sinister: Rove was out to steal Ohio and Anonymous stopped it, hence the groundwork of claiming the polls showed rMoney winning would have supported that theft.

Go back and watch Rove’s meltdown live on air when he was told Ohio was out.

Just saying’.
commented 2016-08-20 02:16:03 -0400 · Flag
Kevin,
I don’t think Dana Perino was ever presented as anything other than a Republican pundit on Fox. To her credit, she’s thoughtful and scrupulous, which may make her seem like she’s being neutral but she’s not and I don’t think she has ever presented herself as unbiased.

What struck me in this, besides wondering whom she meant when she said “they want” her to be more positive about Trump was the fact that she said she was fooled in 2012 by the “skewed polls” BS and won’t be fooled again about the polls. To me, that suggested that she has a beef with Fox propaganda.
commented 2016-08-20 01:21:27 -0400 · Flag
Dear Marilyn. There’s no point in clothing your viewpoint in political claptrap. Just come out and say it, loud and proud. ‘I hate blacks, Muslims, Mexicans and uppity career women. Please give me a lying, cheating, greedy, hateful, arrogant swine of a man for President. Just make sure he’s white. And yes, I’ll have fries with that."

At least you’ll get points for honesty.
commented 2016-08-19 14:22:38 -0400 · Flag
PERINO: “They want me to say something positive all the time, they want me to say that things are looking up, that things are gonna be great.”

The “they” she is talking about are her Faux Snooze bosses.
commented 2016-08-19 13:31:09 -0400 · Flag
Marilyn is just another deluded troll. We can watch all of their heads explode on election night.
commented 2016-08-19 13:19:10 -0400 · Flag
Long Dong Donald and Dense Pence are already making excuses for their upcoming landslide defeat. It’s rigged. It’s the media. It can’t be that Long Dong is a narcissist who is temperamentally and intellectually unfit to be President.
commented 2016-08-19 13:03:39 -0400 · Flag
Marilyn, what the $^c! are you talking about when you mention “delegates?”

If you’re talking the Electoral Vote narrative, those are ELECTORS (delegates are the things you get through the caucuses and primaries—and those GOP ones were so rigged against tRump that he won the majority of them). The Electoral Vote narrative doesn’t usually mention tRump because he doesn’t have a solid enough baseline that is NOT embarrassing to his candidacy for right-wing sites like FoxNoise. Most liberal sites have been highlighting the 270towin.com base map which shows Hillary with 227 to tRump’s 163.

As for your being “angry,” why is that exactly? Why do you want an “angry” candidate? As for your whole “Mr Trump is definitely not a politician and because of that he is forgiven for his mistakes (has he mms made any? Not really!)” comment, I lost your alleged train of thought with the “mms.” What the heck was that supposed to mean? But you know what? He HAS made mistakes. He’s running to be POTUS and that job does NOT allow for any “on-the-job training.” A lot of GOPers, in the past, have talked about running the country “like a business” and they fail at it because a country is NOT a “business” (and, by the by, tRump has been associated with FOUR bankruptcies in his PROFESSIONAL career as a “businessman”). The man won’t even release his tax records—something that’s been a tradition for nearly 50 years; doing so allows the American people to make sure their President isn’t trying to hide anything shady. (And EVERY President in that time period has made his annual tax return public information. If tRump won’t release his recent tax returns during a campaign, why do you think he’d comply as President?) tRump is also lawsuit-happy, threatening to sue people at the drop of a hat; he can’t do that as President. For crying out loud, he can’t take a little criticism from the press now as candidate (which is why he rarely does press with anyone that’s not affiliated with FoxNoise).

But again, WHY are YOU “angry?” Why do you WANT an “angry” candidate? What makes you better than a run-of-the-mill terrorist? After all, those folks are pretty “angry” themselves for no real reason.
commented 2016-08-19 12:11:49 -0400 · Flag
I predict she will be the next to go from The Five. She doesn’t fit the narrative. Her role was to provide some gravitas byt basucally follow the party line. She has veered from that a few times recently — and that isn’t going to play well in Foxland. She would be better fit for MSNBC — a strong but reasonable conservative voice.
commented 2016-08-19 11:20:14 -0400 · Flag
Foxers know that blondes don’t lie. Right?
commented 2016-08-19 10:14:33 -0400 · Flag
I should like to make one more comment

I promised myself that I would never again vote unless it was for a person who WAS NOT a politician. Mr Trump is definitely not a politician and because of that he is forgiven for his mistakes (has he mms made any? Not really!) I wanted an Angry American, likeme. One darn angry American. A n dhere he is. I am not alone with that thinking.
commented 2016-08-19 08:45:12 -0400 · Flag
Personally speaking I understand her comments to be more of “what does she know that I don’t” I do believe the election is rigged. Dana said, “Hillary has 238 delegates!” But she, and no one else, has declared how many delegates Donald has. He must have some. I’m sorry but I feel it’s way too early to make a prediction such as this … and it’s based on HER disappointment from the last election. So sorry Dana, but I feel this particular election is A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME. Nothing lasts forever, least of all the Democratic Party.
commented 2016-08-19 06:58:41 -0400 · Flag
Dana Perino has always reminded me of the nice girl who fell in with the wrong crowd, starting with the Bush administration and now winding up at Faux. She is going to the trouble of telling Faux the truth. I say going to the trouble because telling the truth to Faux is a death sentence for a Faux career.

If only she hadn’t fallen in with the wrong crowd. Kinda like when Sandra Bullock was dating biker Jesse James.
commented 2016-08-19 06:33:09 -0400 · Flag
Typical O’Reilly. Wearing his ball cap with a big, fat “HYPOCRITE” and an elephant in the background logo.

The ‘Harvard trained journalist’ who thinks he’s a crack analyst is pushing Perino to the conclusion he’s already reached and she’s not having any of it. Though the only reason Perino gets away with it is she’s a certified conservative, a Bushie through and through, plus a fellow Foxy so Bill’s not going to give her the bully-boy guest liberal treatment.

Also, I don’t think O’Reilly actually believes his milkshake bud, Trump, has a chance at this point either. He’s just going through the motions selling hope to his conservative audience to keep his ratings up.
commented 2016-08-19 03:39:19 -0400 · Flag
I agree that Perino is acting as the adult in the room while many others at Fox News are blindly stumping for Trump. (see Hannity, Sean; etc)

But for me, the most important quote here is her straightforward admission: “I don’t want the Republicans to lose. I believe that conservative values and the principles and our policies are so much better than liberal ones.”

This from a person who is featured on multiple Fox News shows, running the gamut from opinion to supposed news analysis. She is openly stating her bias – something Fox News has repeatedly denied over the two decades it has existed. When pushed, Fox News points to the notion that it’s got plenty of liberal voices, etc. Dana Perino is one of the more moderate voices to be found on the network. She’s not a Hannity or an O’Reilly. She doesn’t get into shouting matches with people, and she doesn’t get gleeful or falsely pious. She’s one of their rational faces, and she’s just stated that she’s openly Republican and will work to make sure that a Republican is elected. It’s not a surprised and it’s already evident, but to hear the words come out of her mouth that blatantly tells a lot about how much the wheels are coming off the wagons in that organization.