The poor reviews are piling up, declaring “CNBC the biggest loser of the night.” In one veteran staffer’s words, “Everyone feels pretty embarrassed.”
Indeed, after watching CNBC’s 2016 GOP Presidential Debate on Wednesday night turn into “The 2016 GOP vs. the media” debate, everyone should be feeling pretty embarrassed. “While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of ‘gotcha’ questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates,” wrote RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in an open letter to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack on Friday, declaring that they are “suspending the partnership” because the CNBC debate had been conducted “in bad faith.”
From a Brain Type’s perspective, it was a tale of the good and the bad, involving a number of #13 FCIRs calling out other #13 FCIRs. “We need a change of format,” Ben Carson (#13 FCIR, among other things, also demonstrating a low-keyed, thoughtful persona) said during a press conference in Lakewood, Colorado. “Debates are supposed to be to ‘get to know the candidates,’ what is behind them. What it has turned into is a gotcha.”
Ted Cruz (#13 FCIR, among other things, also demonstrating an energetic, principled persona) was perhaps the night’s most vocal critic, condemning CNBC for “trying to instigate fights between the candidates while ignoring issues that mattered to voters.”
“The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” Cruz went on to say. “This is not a cage match.” The enthusiastic crowd roared with applause. “Ted Cruz’s focus group dials [hit] 98 with his attack on media bias,” pollster Frank Luntz wrote on Twitter. “That’s the highest score we’ve ever measured. EVER.”
Moderators Carl Quintanilla (#13), Becky Quick (#13), and John Harwood (#13) have since been scrambling to defend themselves. After all, when the opening question of the debate starts with,“What is your biggest weakness and what are you doing to address it?”, it’s hard to argue that you’re being unbiased and objective. Other questions included, “Are you a comic book villain?” – “Can you do math?” – “Why have your numbers fallen?”
The lone #15 FCIL, Donald Trump, wasn’t pleased either, telling moderator John Harwood, “By the way, I don’t like the way you phrased that question.” The question (or accusatory statement) was,“Mr. Trump, you have done very well in this campaign so far by promising to build another wall and make another country pay for it, send 11 million people out of the country, cut taxes $10 trillion without increasing the deficit, and make Americans better off because your greatness will replace the stupidity and incompetence of others. Let’s be honest. Is this a comic book version of a presidential candidate?