RNC Chair Reince Priebus, who partnered with CNBC to put on this debate, is crapping on CNBC big time for putting on a terrible debate. I thought it was a terrible debate. But I was a little unclear why Priebus thought it was so terrible from a GOP perspective. That became a little more clear after I saw the breakdown of how much each candidate got to talk. Carly Fiorina, who is barely in the running, got more time than anyone else. Jeb Bush got the least by a significant margin – less than Rand Paul, Huckabee, Christie, people who aren’t even really in the race. Priebus is clearly getting hell for that.
But as I reflect on the debate a bit more I think a big reason the debate was so weird was that so many of the questions were based on obscurantist and myopic CNBC nonsense – which is not only far-right and identified with great wealth but specifically owned by the bubble of Wall Street. That led to a lot of odd questions – like Jim Cramer’s saying why aren’t GM execs going to jail, Santelli’s wild questions or that question about fantasy football. Lots of people are into fantasy football. But whether it’s betting and whether it should be regulated, that’s a Wall Streeter question – in the same way huge amounts of the money that gets pushed through political betting sites comes off Wall Street. It’s hard for Republicans to say this. But I think this is a significant reason why the debate seemed so odd. And it made it kind of odd to hear anti-liberal bias attacks on the moderators when they were asking questions like shouldn’t the Fed be forced to take us back to the gold standard.
Let’s not even get into perhaps the most comically poor debate prep we’ve ever seen in a national debate. Are these folks even journalists? Or do they just spend all day talking about capital gains tax cuts?