Moments after Wednesday evening’s CNBC debate ended, the Republican National Committee attacked the network for its “deeply unfortunate” questioning of the candidates, joining a chorus of attacks that several of the presidential hopefuls did in real time.
“While I was proud of our candidates and the way they handled tonight’s debate, the performance by the CNBC moderators was extremely disappointing and did a disservice to their network, our candidates, and voters,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
Mr. Priebus went to the post-debate “spin room” in the Boulder, Colorado, arena to personally blast the moderators as engaging in a “gotcha game.”
The RNC chief also took to Twitter, saying over the course of several tweets that “CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled” and that he was “proud of our team for standing up against the improper and unprofessional display put on by CNBC.”
“I will fight to ensure future debates allow for a more robust exchange,” he used the social-networking site to vow.
However, Mr. Priebus made similar complaints about the mainstream media’s handling of the debates during the 2012 primary campaign and had vowed that this election cycle would be different.
Numerous analysts spoke similarly in the hour after the debate, with Charles Krauthammer of Fox News saying “the panel was a bunch of flaming liberals” and Ron Fournier of National Journal tweeting that “Biggest loser of this debate isn’t JEB. It’s MSM. We’ve earned this bashing.”
During the debate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and businessman Donald Trump all said, in one or other fashion, that the questions were loaded with liberal assumptions and/or outright contempt for Republican voters.
In the post-debate spin room, Mr. Trump noted that this debate was “much different from the Hillary debate,” which he characterized as “all softballs” in its questioning.