GOP Candidates Owned by Hardcore CNBC Debate Moderators
Matt | On 10, Nov 2011
Tonight’s CNBC Republican Presidential Debate provided its fair share of memorable moments. In fact, of all the debates, this one had to rank in the top three. The topic was almost exclusively on the economy — a major priority with American voters.
The candidates were on display tonight. However, it was the CNBC moderators and their tough-as-nails questioning that really brought some life to the event. Maria Bartiromo and John Harwood took the lead as co-moderators. They were joined by Jim Cramer, Sharon Epperson, and others from the CNBC family. This was hands-down the best moderating team of any previous live network debate.
Let me say that I have a newfound respect for Maria Bartiromo. I’ve seen her on CNBC and The Oprah Winfrey Show before, but never would I have thought she would SMOKE the candidates (esp. Newt Gingrich) the way she did tonight. We finally had a debate where candidates are not given a pass for non-answers and baseless stone throws without providing concrete solutions! I LOVED IT!!
As always, here is my quick rundown of the debate highlights:
- The candidates were on their same talking points tonight. Please don’t think that they were going to arrive with new, fresh thinking. It didn’t happen.
- One of the first jabs thrown was when the two moderators asked Herman Cain and Mitt Romney about Cain’s sexual harassment scandal. The audience booed adamantly against the moderators, but especially when Romney was asked. To the audience’s credit, the debate was about the economy and not the scandal.
- Rick Perry has probably ended his candidacy tonight. He had the “brain fart heard ’round the world” when asked what three federal departments he would cut. He could only name two, then said “Ooops, I can’t remember the third.” There had to be 15+ seconds of dead air as he tried to remember. (FYI – He wants to eliminate the Depts. of Commerce and Education. He later chimed in that Energy was the one he forgot). Sad ass…
- Herman Cain must think his sexual abuse allegations are a joke. While discussing healthcare, he sarcastically referred to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Princess Nancy..” when talking about her role in the healthcare legislation. Really Herman?
- Newt Gingrich has a serious problem with a strong woman like Maria Bartiromo. His chauvinistic attitude was on full display when they had a tiff about Newt saying the media doesn’t report on certain things. The way he tried to talk down to her was out of order. Maria is no punk, though, and never backed down.
- Herman Cain talked about 9-9-9 so much that the audience laughed and Jim Cramer asked him not to mention it in the final question.
- The candidates were finally held to the fire about what they would replace Obamacare with. They all say they hate the president’s plan, but have yet to offer any concrete solutions. They showed that tonight by basically saying let the markets do what they do. That’s NOT a plan!
- Michele Bachmann and the other candidates say President Obama has no connection to the business community. I don’t understand it. Business has a major hand in this White House, just not the way she would like it. Oh well…
- None of the candidates could come up with a credible way they were going to get rid of government home loan programs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Again, lots of talk, but no real plan.
- The candidates, esp. Mitt Romney, showed that they aren’t serious about cutting taxes. As soon as they were asked about extending the president’s payroll tax cut, Romney waffled. Any other time they throw out tax cuts as a solution for every response. They just don’t want to go on record and give Obama the any credit.
- The most disturbing area for me was the candidates’ approach to the debt incurred by college students. Some of them want to do away with the Federal Student Loan Program and even the entire Department of Education. But in the same breath they talk about “investing in job creators…” None of these candidates sees education as a way to innovate ourselves into economic prosperity. It’s all about corporate greed and the economic status quo of legacy industries. ::sigh::
Debate winner: Mitt Romney .. He didn’t really “win,” but he just lost the least.
Debate loser: Rick Perry .. The blatant gaffe on national TV buried him.
As soon as we get full video of the debate, we will put it on the site in a separate post. Stay tuned!