During last night’s GOP debate at the University of Colorado Boulder, Republican presidential candidates criticized the mainstream media. The candidates, who found the questions posed by the moderators to be needlessly confrontational, called out CNBC moderators Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood:
“The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” said Ted Cruz, in response to a question asked of Donald Trump, which referred to him as being a “comic book villain.”
Rubio also slammed the mainstream media for after certain news outlets reported that Hillary Clinton had her best campaign week last week, despite the recent Benghazi hearings, in which Marco Rubio says Clinton was “exposed as a liar.”
“She has her own super PAC helping her out,” said Rubio referring to the mainstream media. The candidates disagreed on topics, but seemed to unite in their criticism of the media. Trump scolded Quick for misquoting his opinion on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Trump claimed there was some bad fact-checking going on.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee even refused to answer a question that asked him to target Trump’s morals.
“I’m wearing a Trump tie tonight,” said Huckabee.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined in the media attack when Governor Jeb Bush was asked if fantasy football should be regulated. Christie took advantage of the situation and interjected after Bush’s response, saying that America has more important issues than fantasy football.
This attack on mainstream media was also seen briefly in the Democratic debate, when Bernie Sanders expressed his frustration with the media’s constant attention on the Hilary Clinton email scandal.
The GOP debate was hosted by CNBC, a network that has been viewed as more liberal, in comparison with the conservative Fox News network, while CNN is considered to be the most moderate of the major news outlets.
Earlier this week, soft-spoken candidate Ben Carson took a slight lead in a new national poll over Donald Trump, who was himself relatively quiet during the debate. Carson now has 26 percent of the vote to Trump’s 22 percent.
However, the GOP poll leaders were not the highlight of the debate; instead, Rubio and Cruz stole the show. Most of the applause came during their criticism of the media, but another highlight for Rubio was his quick response to Governor Bush’s comments about Rubio’s effort as a Senator. According to NBC, Rubio leads all senators who are running for president in missed votes during their campaign trail.
“Someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” said Rubio.
Immediately after, Rubio stated that he is going to run a clean campaign without attacking other candidates who were on the same stage as him.
Other popular topics that were discussed included Social Security benefits for senior citizens, working women and poverty, immigration and the struggling middle class.
Florida Senator Rubio and Texas Senator Cruz were the clear frontrunners at the end of the debate.