Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

Numerous Republican presidential candidates will meet on Sunday evening without a representative from the Republican National Committee to discuss grievances and propose changes to the primary debates, Politico reported Thursday night.

Representatives from the campaigns for Ben Carson, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), and Donald Trump have begun organizing the meeting, according to Politico. Campaign staff from the campaigns for Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Rand Paul (KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) are expected to attend the meeting.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday morning tore into the Republican National Committee's attempt to manage the Republican presidential debates for the 2016 cycle, arguing that the debate formats have been hurting the party.

"I think the Republican Party is becoming the loser here. We've got talented candidates. The process is not bringing out the best in the party. The RNC is trying to correct the last cycle's problem of too many debates. They've overdone it. They're micromanaging the process," Graham said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I don't think the RNC could run a one-card funeral. This is getting pretty bad."

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The Republican candidates were quick to criticize the CNBC moderators after Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate, but some are now looking to the Republican National Committee to make changes in the future.

Ben Carson's campaign manager, Barry Bennett, told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday night that he plans on contacting other campaigns about issues with the debate formats.

"I think the families need to get together here, because these debates as structured by the RNC are not helping the party," Bennett told the Examiner. "There's not enough time to talk about your plans, there's no presentation. It's just a slugfest. All we do is change moderators. And the trendline is horrific. So I think there needs to be wholesale change here."

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Following criticism from candidates and commentators about the Wednesday night CNBC Republican presidential debate, CNBC's John Harwood joked that he now understands the "challenges" faced by the speaker of the House.

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The hosts of "Fox and Friends" on Thursday morning criticized the moderators of the CNBC Republican presidential debate, then gave Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) a chance to get "to the issues" by asking about Benghazi.

"It seems universal the big loser was CNBC. What kind of agenda did they have going, going into that debate with you guys last night?" co-host Steve Doocy asked Rubio on Thursday morning.

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Thursday tore into the moderators at the CNBC Republican presidential debate, arguing that GOP candidates will never be treated fairly on the debate stage.

"They want us to kill each other," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "The moderators just didn’t do their job last night in a number of areas. Not only were the questions snarky and divisive and non-substantive, they were just biased. The questions were biased. But on top of that, they didn’t do their job in terms of controlling the debate either. And it became somewhat of a free-for-all that everybody had to jump in when they could jump in."

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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.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday night played a game of "date, marry, or make disappear forever," tasked with choosing between Sarah Palin, Carly Fiorina, and Hillary Clinton.

During CNN's Politics on Tap event, Dana Bash asked the Republican to make a decision, and he reluctantly categorized each politician.

He told Bash he would date Palin, adding, "We'll go hunting on our first date."

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