At last night’s GOP presidential primary debate, the candidates at times fought more with CNBC’s moderators than they did with each other.
After several Republican presidential candidates complained about the line of questioning from the network’s hosts, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus followed suit, criticizing CNBC and its moderators for what he alleged were unfair questions. “I think it was one gotcha question, one personal low blow after the other,” Priebus told a group of reporters after the debate, according to the New York Times.
Priebus also fired off a series of tweets criticizing CNBC and the debate’s moderators:
Priebus sounded off on CNBC (CMCSA) after candidates such as Ted Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, also ripped the moderators. “This is not a cage match,” Cruz said at one point during the debate, as he claimed the moderators were seeking to disparage the candidates and incite in-fighting among the group of presidential hopefuls. After the debate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie chimed in, calling the questions from last night’s moderators “snarky and divisive and non-substantive” in an interview on MSNBC Thursday morning. “The questions were biased,” Christie told MSNBC.
In response to the Republicans’ criticism of last night’s debate, a CNBC spokesman issued the following statement: “People who want to be President of the United States should be able to answer tough questions.”
Interestingly, Christie seemed to echo that sentiment in his own appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday morning. “Let’s face it, if you’re not tough enough to deal with whatever came from the moderators last night, then you have no business being on the stage with Hillary Clinton next September and no business sitting across the table from Vladimir Putin next January,” Christie told CNBC in an interview where he also reiterated claims that some of the debate moderators’ questions were biased.