Two of the moderators of the CNBC Republican presidential debate, John Harwood and Sharon Epperson, defended their questions on Wednesday night following criticism from the Republican National Committee and the candidates themselves.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus lambasted the network and said CNBC should be “ashamed of how this debate was handled.” And numerous candidates complained during and after the debate that the moderators did not ask enough substantive questions.
Harwood told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that the moderators aimed to ask the candidates about their economic plans.
“Some of those questions, especially considering the prescriptions they are offering, are questions that feel hostile to those Republican candidates,” Harwood said.
Matthews noted that the candidates criticized the questions and were quick to accuse the moderators of getting their facts wrong.
“There were a lot of conservatives before the debate who were urging them to go hard after the media, and that’s what they did,” Harwood said in response.
Matthews then said that candidates tried to “whack” reporters out of the way during the debate, hoping “that time will run out.”
“They are hoping that people don’t really care about the facts and I think they are wrong about that,” Epperson said in response.
Watch the clip via MSNBC: