Before he founded Fox News in 1996, Mr. Ailes spent years as a respected political strategist with a pit bull style. He was a top adviser to Richard M. Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968, softening his hard-edge, unapproachable image.-RW
He was also a sought-after debate coach, working with Ronald Reagan in 1984 and readying Vice President George Bush for debates with the Democratic candidate, Gov. Michael Dukakis, in 1988.
According to Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, in an anecdote on his website, Mr. Ailes played a crucial role before Mr. Reagan’s debates with Vice President Walter F. Mondale in 1984, by asking Mr. Reagan during a prep session how he would handle questions about his age.
The question came quickly, and Mr. Reagan’s answer went down in the annals of witty debate one-liners: “I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
Trump campaign says Ailes is not preparing Trump for the presidential debates.