Can something be both a seven-story dumpster fire and more dull than watching a football field’s worth of paint dry one centimeter at a time? With their GOP debate last night, CNBC answered that one resoundingly in the affirmative. The outraged, performative yelping from both the candidates and conservative news outlets began before the debate was even over.
The debate was notable both for how incredibly dull it was and how much time the candidates spent shouting over each other, or, in Mike Huckabee’s case, complaining he wasn’t getting enough time to shout over other people.
But the party line that quickly took shape was that it was all CNBC’s fault, for being mean and disorganized and unfair and probably full of secret closet liberals and/or socialists.
For his part, Donald Trump was certain the debate would be unfair before he got anywhere near Colorado:
Midway through, Politico reports that Jeb Bush’s campaign manager got in a “heated confrontation” with a CNBC producer backstage because he wasn’t getting enough time to speak. And immediately after the debate ended, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus started pitching a fit:
This is the exact same criticism Megyn Kelly got in August, for daring to ask Donald Trump actual questions about his record and his political ideas, whatever those might be. But Fox News is leaping gleefully into the CNBC Sux camp, because the Fox Business channel is hosting the next debate. Several Fox anchors tweeted their own performative outrage last night with how cruel CNBC was, to question the candidates during a debate:
That same line was echoed by other conservative pundits:
And of course, by the candidates themselves:
In the midst of their outrage, Chris Christie took a quick selfie with one of the moderators he was raging against. Both he and Marco Rubio also managed to make time to come back on CNBC this morning:
Trump yells during the debate, flanked by Marco Rubio and Ben Carson. Photo via AP Images