GOP candidates blame the media for the monster they created during last night’s debate

Give the Republicans credit for at least one thing: the selections process for their nominee for president has been very entertaining.

What it’s lacked is information about the candidates. And what candidates have focused on is attacks, on each other and on Americans themselves.

During this presidential campaign season we have seen:

Reine Priebus, via DonkeyHotey / Flickr

RNC Chair Reine Priebus, via DonkeyHotey / Flickr

And so much more in comical errors from a motley crew of Republican candidates. So it’s no surprise that last night, during the most recent GOP debate, the candidates decided on a common enemy: the media.

Several of the candidates took issue with the moderators’ questions during the excruciatingly painful-to-watch train wreck. It prompted Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to issue a statement himself attacking the questioners in a debate he himself helped organize. From CNN:

“I was very disappointed in the moderators. I’m disappointed in CNBC,” he told reporters in the spin room in Boulder, Colorado. “I thought they would bring forward a pretty fair forum here tonight. But I think it was one gotcha question, one personal low blow after another.”

If that’s what Priebus thought of the moderators, he ought to take a look at the candidates themselves on the campaign trail.

You know what the moderators were actually doing during the debate? Addressing questions that concerned citizens would have asked. This circus show of a nomination process that the GOP has put before us makes these questions relevant, not the media’s focus of them.

We need to know if Trump’s temperament is going to be a problem with worldwide leaders like Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping (or if he even knows who the latter is). We need to know if Carson’s math adds up in his budget plans. We need to know if Rubio is going to take the job seriously once he gets into office. We need to know if Huckabee is going to kowtow to religious leaders and turn our nation into a theocracy.

These aren’t “gotcha” questions, as Priebus contends, because they’re exactly what the candidates themselves have been running on or showing themselves to be. Republicans act as if these questions are materializing out of thin air. In reality, they’ve been the ones producing the need to ask these types of questions all along.

That Republicans are this frightened of these questions, so much so that they go straight to blaming the media for the monster that they themselves have created, simply demonstrates how none of them are qualified to hold the nation’s highest office.


Chris Walker has been a political writer for more than ten years, contributing freelance opinion pieces to several online publications as well as managing his own blog, Political Heat, for more than six years. With a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism, Chris tries to bring a unique angle to every article he produces, including Millennial perspectives on the issues he's covering. Chris resides in Madison, Wisconsin, and proudly owns both a cheesehead and stock in the Green Bay Packers.

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  • DoverBill

    Occam’s razor:
    It is what it is… no matter how sad the current slate of candidates.

    Famous quote from someone:
    “As you know, ah, you go to debates with the candidates you have—not the candidates you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

    Sigh…

  • mf_roe

    The repugs are using sound principles, “Casting pearls before swine” is a waste. The repug base is capable of voting for George W twice, McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan, the standards aren’t the same as rational people. They want a demagogue, that’s why the field is full of them. Think George Wallace crossed with Joe McCarthy and you define the minimum level of bigotry required to command the attention of the the voters that the debates were targeted at. On that basis the field is rich.

  • Indigo

    It’s not the questioners that screw up the answers.

  • MoonDragon

    Since we know that all of these candidates are God fearing (if not bothering) men and woman, we know what the answer to the question “Do you believe in God?” would be. I have the feeling that if one of the moderators had asked that question last night, the answer would have been “Why are you trying to make me look like some sort of religious kook?”

    This batch of delinquents went past juvenile, zipped through puerile, and has settled into infantile. CNBC should have given these guys a lesson in dealing with cranky toddlers before sending them into the playpen. Now there’s jelly all over the carpet, and all the kids are smiling with the warm satisfaction derived from a full diaper and the knowledge that someone else is going to have to deal with the mess.

  • Don Chandler

    A strong candidate would be able to parlay any question into an informative and forceful statement. There were no strong candidates on stage last night.

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