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The channel of high finance CNBC hosted a GOP Debate the other night, but instead of focusing on money issues, the Moderators were all over the place, asking embarassing questions to surly candidates who dodged, rolled their eyes, and insulted back with gusto. In the words of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, it was a "Crap Sandwich."
Republican Party head rages against 'crap sandwich' CNBC debate https://t.co/QUV9JtVPHs pic.twitter.com/50uRrAwF0g— Business Insider (@businessinsider) October 30, 2015
Reince Priebus via Business Insider:
"Obviously we had assurances that it was going to be straight-up finance, which is what they do every day," he told Hannity on Thursday. "And what was delivered was just nothing but a crap sandwich. I guarantee you we're going to make sure that CNBC isn't hosting and moderating another debate with our candidates."
.@Reince: "I was very disappointed in the moderators. I'm disappointed in CNBC" https://t.co/CBTwLz2fAQ #GOPDebate https://t.co/ohox9iP7VW— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 29, 2015
Even many journalists were tempted to use the phrase "Shit Show"
My debate recap: I only wrote "trainwreck" because I couldn't write "shit show" https://t.co/DrImgijHfr— Emily Atkin (@emorwee) October 29, 2015
From Think Progress
Reporters from both conservative and liberal-minded news organizations seem to agree: the CNBC Republican presidential debate was kind of a trainwreck.
That wasn’t really because of the candidates, though — it was because of the moderators. For the first hour, CNBC moderators Becky Quick, John Harwood, and Carl Quintanilla didn’t let candidates interact with each other, resulting in multiple moments of incomprehensible yelling. This may have been because of stricter time limits — this particular 10-candidate debate was only two hours, while the previous Republican debates have spanned three hours.
But constant interruption wasn’t the only problem. Candidates were also highly critical of the CNBC crew, accusing them of being part of the “liberal media.” At one point, Ted Cruz ripped into the moderators for asking what he called unfair and non-substantive questions. And in two instances, audience members actually booed at questions the moderators asked of Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee.
From Sean Illing on Salon:
What happened was less a debate among contenders and more a showdown between the candidates and the moderators. Everyone attacked the moderators when they heard a question they didn’t like, and then made a show of their rebelliousness – this was great for anti-media conservatives, but a distraction for everyone else. The moderators had their moments, but they were mostly awful. Frivolous questions about Rubio’s absenteeism or Trump’s “moral character” or fantasy football gave the candidates just enough fodder to avoid answering the hard questions whenever they were asked. The result of all this was two and a half hours of political gas.
Colbert on CBS: "Did ya'll watch the GOP Debate last night on CNBC? (light applause) I'm so sorry. I, uh, I did watch it, and in some ways it was impressive. They managed to thread the needle between confusing and boring... CNBC showed us how to conduct a debate without a shred of respect....And what the moderators lacked in courtesy they made up for in lack of preparation."
Loved doing the debate last night on @CNBC. Check out all of the polls! Everyone agrees that Harwood bombed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2015
Anderson Cooper: 'Poorly Produced' CNBC Debate 'Made It Easy' for GOPers to Attack Media https://t.co/yfFIJXO6vZ pic.twitter.com/SB4o7NBIjj— Mediaite (@Mediaite) October 30, 2015
I had never watched CNBC before tonight. And I will never watch CNBC again after tonight. #GOPDebate— deray mckesson (@deray) October 29, 2015
"Shell-shocked" @CNBC staffers had long flight home after #GOPDebate https://t.co/WhRyuasn9X pic.twitter.com/DHPpETlg1N— CNN (@CNN) October 30, 2015
On board CNBC's charter flight home from the debate... "we were shell-shocked..." here's my story: https://t.co/EckPJAjDJq— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 30, 2015
Some (including Moderator John Harwood) faulted the candidates for not wanting to answer hard questions:
moderating GOP debate in 2015 enriched my understanding of challenges @SpeakerBoehner has faced and @RepPaulRyan will face— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 29, 2015
"train wreck" = asking GOP candidates for most powerful position in world to justify their policies https://t.co/w0RROkoYJs— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) October 29, 2015
CNBC did ask substantive questions. That's why Republicans are still gnashing their teeth https://t.co/6ggXAOKDdH pic.twitter.com/sHKK3rE5z1— Salon.com (@Salon) October 30, 2015
Harwood: "Considering the prescriptions they're offering," our Qs felt "hostile" to GOPers https://t.co/YXXv12d9nX pic.twitter.com/dRQGLO3KPV— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) October 29, 2015