The third GOP debate was held this past Wednesday, Oct. 28 in Boulder, at the University of Colorado.
The debate, held by CNBC, was supposed to be focused on issues of economics and, obligingly titled “Your Money, Your Vote,” held the top ten highest polling Republican candidates in conversation over a wide variety of subjects.
Moderated by Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick, and John Harwood, the debate lasted an hour and fifty two minutes.
While economics was to be the primary subject of content engaged in by the ten candidates polling above three percent, in numerous instances, the moderators were often subjected to attacks of accusations in large part of being the liberal media.
Marco Rubio, in response to an editorial published by the Sun Sentinel remarked: “Back in 2004, one of my predecessors to the Senate by the name of Bob Graham, a Democrat, ran for President. Missing over 30 percent of his votes. I don’t recall them calling for his resignation.”
“Later that year,” Rubio continued, interrupting Quintanilla’s attempt to get him back to responding to the question, “John Kerry ran for president missing close to 60 to 70 percent of his votes. I don’t the Sun Sentinal – in fact the Sun Sentinal endorsed him. In 2008, Barack Obama missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes and the same newspaper endorsed him again. So this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and the Conservative movement.”
Further in the debate, as Quintanilla approached Ted Cruz with a question pertaining to his dissent on the deal met out with Congress about the raising of the debt ceiling, whether or not this makes him the kind of problem solver American voters want, Cruz goes after the media as well: “You know, just let me say something at the outset. The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match – and you look at the questions – Donald Trump are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson can you do math? John Kasich will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush why have your numbers fallen? – how about talking about the substantive issues people care about?”
And as Quintanilla again tries to steer the conversation back to the question posed, he is interrupted again. “Carl, I’m not finished yet. The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was which of you is more handsome and wise –.”
Quintanilla’s response, “This is a question about the debt limit, which you have thirty seconds left to answer should you choose to do so,” resulted in Cruz’ continued attack on the media before protesting when John Harwood chose to move on at the end of the thirty seconds, Harwood saying: “No, I don’t want to hear your answer, you wasted your time on something else.”
The debate continued with moderators receiving backlash from candidates and even the audience, eliciting groans over the questions asked and instigated discourse, making it difficult to see how any one candidate will look in the polls. CNBC has received criticism for the moderators’ performance Wednesday night and calls into question whether or not the program could even be called a debate.