Every Republican in the world – and many liberal Democrats – agree that the CNBC debate was terrible and that the moderators blew it. Reince Priebus called it a crap sandwich on live TV and said that CNBC would never host a Republican debate again. Anderson Cooper called it “poorly produced” and said that the moderators did such a terrible job it impugned the entire media. The moderators were so outrageously bad that even Bill Maher was cheering on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) when he blasted them for the sideshow spectacle questions they were asking. The debate was such a debacle that accounts are circulating that the candidates are contemplating a coup to completely remove the debates from the RNC’s control, even though Priebus himself has blasted CNBC’s handling of the debates.
Against this tide of universal opinion that the debates sucked and the moderators were partisan hacks whose sole goal was to make Republican candidates look bad stands one man. That one man is Ohio Governor John Kasich (via the MRC):
Reporter: What did you think about the mainstream media’s questions tonight? What did you think about the moderators?
Kasich: I thought they did a good job. I’m very pleased with, I had time to speak and talk about the fantasy land and also be able to talk about my plans and my programs, the things that I know we can do together to get the budget balanced and create jobs and fix this country. So I’m very appreciative of how they did their job tonight. It wasn’t a circus like we’ve had in the past. It was well done, well controlled, a lot of good questions, and hopefully this will be what we’ll see in the future.
For all that people criticize Jeb Bush, Kasich is far and away the candidate in this field who is just utterly clueless about the Republican electorate as a whole. Worse, to the extent that Kasich does understand Republicans, he dislikes them.
In fact, part of the structural problem that made the debate a “crap sandwich” to begin with is that the CNBC moderators allowed Kasich – who was in last place among those on stage – the first question and gave him the opportunity to filibuster at length about how stupid Republican voters (and the other Republican candidates were). While the rest of America sat horrified at the ridiculous irrelevant gotcha questions that were clearly designed to make all Republicans look bad and crazy, Kasich thought to himself, “this is my kind of debate! Finally America is going to get to see how crazy all these Republicans are!”
Here is de facto evidence of CNBC’s liberal bias: John Kasich, who is in dead last and whose sole purpose on stage was to attack Republicans, got more speaking time than Donald Trump or Ben Carson. Trump and Carson each have more than ten times the support that Kasich has, and there’s nothing about Kasich that makes him especially compelling either as a story or as a television draw. He’s a grumpy old white dude who basically is Bob Dole without the personality and charm. As much as I’m not a personal fan of either Trump or Carson, there’s no justifiable reason that Kasich should have gotten more air time than either and the fact that he did is pretty conclusive proof of what CNBC is up to.
Kasich hopes there will be more debates like the CNBC debate. Per Reince Priebus, those aren’t going to happen on the Republican side, so maybe Kasich can find another party – one he hates less – to debate for.