Rubio, Cruz, Fiorina Come Out On Top of Dreadful CNBC GOP Debate



Theo Menon

Wednesday’s debate saw an unruly set Republican of candidates face off in the CNBC hosted debate. The debate was attended by Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Senator Ted Cruz, former Governor Jeb Bush, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Chris Christie, Governor John Kasich, and Senator Rand Paul.

CNBC, which advertised a debate based on the economic issues, faced sharp criticism with the first question: What do you think are your greatest weaknesses? Governor John Kasich of Ohio immediately dismissed the question opting instead to discuss economic policy. Rubio, Carson, Fiorina, Cruz, Christie, and Paul followed suit.

This set the tone for the debate, which turned into a mess of attacks and media criticism centered around the panelists’ “gotcha” questions. Candidates, specifically Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz were heavily critical of the rotating panel of moderators. Candidates began shouting at several times at the aggressive, disruptive, and underprepared moderating panel. The confusing format and lack of rules led to candidates having uneven amounts of speaking time, with Carly Fiorina coming in first with nearly 11 minutes and Jeb Bush clocking in last with just over five.

The moderators were often sarcastic, coaxing the candidates into arguments with each other.This began with Kasich angrily attacking the tax plans of Trump and Carson. Kasich, who has led the state of Ohio to unprecedented economic success and was the mastermind behind the last balanced budget, hounded Trump and Carson over the perception that their policies will lead to massive deficits.

Marco Rubio was asked about a recent article in the Sun Sentinel which demanded that he resign due to votes he has missed in the Senate. Rubio criticized the question, “It’s [the article] actually evidence of the bias that exists in the American media.” Rubio went on to site how the Sun Sentinel and the media did not ask Barack Obama, John Kerry, or Bob Graham to resign despite their subpar voting records in the Senate while they were running for President.

Ted Cruz became the first candidate to call out the moderators for their adversarial questions.

“The questions asked in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” said Cruz, “How about talking about the substantive issues?”

The debate ended with Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina coming out on top. Rubio’s adversarial wit left a positive impression on the audience. A key moment for Rubio in the debate came with further criticism of the media.

“The Democrats have the ultimate SuperPAC, it’s called the mainstream media.” said Rubio. He cited the media’s fawning over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s performance in the Benghazi hearings as recent evidence.

The underwhelming debate wrought with infighting and clashes between the candidates and the moderators has in itself become the most significant issue following the debate. Republicans across the country are correctly referencing the bias behind most of the questions as a clear example of how liberal the mainstream media is as a whole.