Since the fairly awful GOP presidential debate Wednesday night, Republicans have been whining almost non-stop about how they were treated by the CNBC moderators. Even during the debate itself, several candidates complained about the media and how they felt the questions they were being asked were unfair.
To be fair, there were a couple of questions that were pretty bad. The first one that comes to mind was the one directed at Donald Trump and whether or not he was running a comic book version of a presidential campaign based on his unrealistic promises to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, deport 12 million people, and pass a tax policy that would add trillions to the national debt. While the point of the question was valid, the manner in which it was asked left a lot to be desired.
However, I was actually impressed by the fact that overall, these CNBC moderators called out several of the lies that were told on stage that night. And when you get right down to it, that’s what Republicans are really upset about.
Take for instance the question asked by CNBC’s Becky Quick of Sen. Marco Rubio:
“Sen. Rubio, you yourself have said that you’ve had issues. You have a lack of bookkeeping skills. You accidentally inter-mingled campaign money with your personal money. You faced foreclosure on a second home that you bought. And just last year, you liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund. That’s something that cost you thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties. In terms of all of that, it raises the question whether you have the maturity and the wisdom to lead this $17 trillion economy. What do you say?”
This was an assertion Rubio dismissed as discredited propaganda by his opponents and absolutely not true.
The problem for Senator Rubio is that it is, in fact, true. Everything Becky Quick said is well-documented and factual, so I’m not sure what complaint the RNC would have about a moderator bringing up Rubio’s past financial incompetency. Especially considering that Marco Rubio is trying to become the leader of the largest economy in the world.
Another moment some Republicans have complained about came when Quick asked Trump about a comment he made where he referred to Rubio as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s “personal senator.” Trump denied ever saying it, then tried to make Quick look incompetent for even bringing it up.
Once again, Quick was 100 percent on-point with her question as the quote came directly from Trump’s own website.
Though perhaps the most talked about moment of the evening came when Ben Carson was asked about his ties to a highly controversial supplement company called Mannatech. Carson became instantly defiant, disavowing any link to the company while claiming that anyone saying otherwise was spreading “propaganda.”
Like with Rubio and Trump, Ben Carson was flat-out lying when he said that he’s had no involvement with Mannatech. Not only did he admit during the debate that he uses their supplements, but he’s appeared in several promotional videos, was featured on their website, and gave multiple paid speeches for the company between 2004-2014. If that’s not “involvement,” then what is?
So, while the RNC throws its temper tantrum over CNBC’s handling of this debate, the truth of the matter is, they’re not upset because their candidates were treated unfairly – they’re mad because their candidates were inept at being able to handle their lies being called out to their face during a presidential debate.