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Ya gotta hand it to the GOP presidential candidates. It takes either incredible skill or monumental stupidity to get President Obama and Fox News to agree. But their “diva demands” for future debates did it.

The whining started even before the third Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNBC, got underway. Apparently, the low-polling campaigns got a peek at the green rooms of the higher polling candidates. The unhappy staffers took to Twitter to complain, naturally.

Rand Paul’s staff wasn’t happy that Carly Fiorina got a Jacuzzi in her green room, while Paul’s green room resembled a closet.

And Donald Trump’s digs were palatial by comparison.

That was before the questions started, and the Republican presidential wannabes started whining about the questions those raving liberals at CNBC — the network where moderator Rick Santelli gave birth to the tea party with his epic rant back in 2009. It came as a complete shock to most on the left that CNBC had joined the “liberal media,” and gone all in with the vast “left-wing conspiracy” to thwart the GOP’s oval office hopefuls, with amateurish questions that stumbled a little too close to the truth for comfort.

So, what did they do? The unhappy candidates met without the RNC bosses, to draw up a list of demands for future debates. While Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly characterized it as a mob-style, that doesn’t quite fit. After all the, campaigns met to collectively bargain for better conditions. Sounds more like a union meeting, doesn’t it.

And the demands?

  • A minimum 30-second opening statement and a minimum 30-second closing statement for each participant. Trump, Carson, and Paul were apparently ready to walk if they didn’t get this one. Carson actually wanted all the candidates to have a minimum of five minutes for opening and closing. With 14 candidates, that would have meant at about 140 minutes on opening and closing statements. That doesn’t leave much room for questions or, y’know, debate.
  • Pre-approval of any graphics and bios to be included in broadcast. Jeb Bush’s campaign demanded this, along with the reinstatement of the nixed Telemundo debate. (After all, Jeb is speaks fluent Spanish.)
  • No lightning rounds. No more awkward moments when the candidates area asked which woman they’d put on the $10 bill, and half of them couldn’t name an American female historical figure worthy of the host. Mike Huckabee chose his wife, Ben Carson voted for his mother, and Jeb Bush opted for late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
  • Details on the polls and methodology used to decide who makes the cut. Rand Paul, who didn’t make the cut for the last debate, as most worried about this. You’d be too, if you were polling around 2 percent.
  • Guarantee no “gotcha” questions. This is moot. It’s been established since Sarah Palin’s vice presidential candidacy that every question is a “gotcha” question for Republican candidates. Even, “Which newspapers do you read?”
  • No yes-or-no questions. No.
  • Keep the temperature in the hall below 67 degrees. Please, if you don’t want ’em to see you sweat, stick a fan under your podium and get over it.


Mark Fiore offered a peek at how the GOP debates would go if the campaigns got their way.

[fve] real republican debate[/fve]

The ridiculous demands pretty much got the response they deserved.


The great debate revolt started with a whine, and apparently ended with a whimper, falling apart almost as soon as it launched.

Here’s the rest of the best in wingnuttery this week:


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