CNBC GOP Debate Recap: The Moderators

From Marco Rubio to Carly Fiorina, the GOP debate tonight was very entertaining, yet also a seemingly positive night for the conservative party. As a high school debater, I love these debates. They show all sides of the candidates: we see their personalities, policies, jokes, and how they perform under pressure.

I feel that the main reason this debate went well for the GOP was because of their unification when the moderators went wild on them. Questions on the candidates’ personal beliefs or how they felt about each other were awfully prevalent.

Marco Rubio showed his dislike for the types of questions the field was being asked. He snapped after hearing about Super Pacs:

“The Democrats have the ultimate Super Pac––it’s called the mainstream media.” ~Marco Rubio

This quote described the harsh questions the CNBC moderators had for the candidates all night. Ted Cruz agreed with Rubio’s attack on the moderators:

The questions that have been asked so far illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage mach. . . how about talking about the substantive issues people care about?” ~Ted Cruz

One of the most vicious questions came from John Harwood when he asked Donald Trump:

“Let’s be honest, is this a comic book campaign?” ~John Harwood

To me, Trump sounds a little hurt after Harwood asks this question––a rarely seen emotion in Trump. Check it out in this video:

This quote is a summary of how the moderators were handling the debate. They were extremely unproductive and it felt more like an entertainment TV show than a formal debate. The moderators seemed to want to point out the flaws in the candidates, not highlight their good parts.

At times, it seemed as though the moderators wanted to be part of the debate. As seen when Chris Christie asks John Harwood if who exactly he wants answering the questions.

After ripping into Trump, they moved onto attacking Ben Carson’s views on homosexuality. Carl Quintanilla asked him:

“Why would you serve on a company whose policies seem to run counter to your views on homosexuality?” ~Carl Quintanilla referring to Carson’s participation on the Costco Board.

Here’s the video for that one as well:

— CNBC (@CNBC) October 29, 2015

I’m not sure what purpose this question had besides trying to frame Carson as a homophobe. However, Carson turned the question around:

“Well, obviously you don’t understand my views on homosexuality. I believe our constitution protects everybody, regardless of their sexuality. . . I also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. . . they shouldn’t automatically assume that because you believe marriage is between one man and one woman, that you are a homophobe.” ~Ben Carson

Carson had a great response deflecting this potentially harmful question. Leading to what could help him in the polls, he’s already on top in Iowa and gaining ground in other states.

Even the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, put in his thoughts on the CNBC GOP Debate:

Hopefully in the next debate the questions will be more constructive than destructive, I’d like to hear more about the candidates’ policies and ideas––rather than what they think about each other.

Feel free to let me know what you thought of the debate in the comments below or on Twitter (@TheEdgeofIdeas).

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