Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus blasted tonight’s debate moderators.
“While I was proud of our candidates and the way they handled tonight’s debate, the performance by the CNBC moderators was extremely disappointing and did a disservice to their network, our candidates and voters,” Priebus wrote in a scathing statement.
“Our diverse field of talented and exceptionally qualified candidates did their best to share ideas for how to reinvigorate the economy and put Americans back to work despite deeply unfortunate questioning from CNBC,” he continued. “One of the great things about our party is that we are able to have a dynamic exchange about which solutions will secure a prosperous future, and I will fight to ensure future debates allow for a more robust exchange. CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled.”
CNBC responded tonight with a single line: “People who want to be President of the United States should be able to answer tough questions.”
During the debate, the GOP candidates seemed to go harder after the debate moderators than they did at one another – almost more than they went after Hillary Clinton, which is saying something.
When former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was asked “as a minster” did he think Donald Trump had the “moral authority” to lead the country, Trump shot back, “Such a nasty question!” And Huckabee replied, stingingly, “Donald Trump would be a better president every day, and twice on Sunday, than Hillary.”
“This is not a cage match!” an exasperated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shouted at moderators, book version of a presidential campaign” and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got asked if he would resign his seat after a Florida newspaper’s op-ed piece demanded he get back to work or resign to run for the White House. Cruz wondered why the Dem debate had, in marked contrast, been such a lovefest in which he said “every fawning question” from the CNN media moderators went like this: “Which of you is more handsome, and why?”