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.
— Chris LaCivita (@LaCivitaC) October 27, 2015
And Donald Trump’s digs were palatial by comparison.
— Chris LaCivita (@LaCivitaC) October 27, 2015
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.
- 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]https://vimeo.com/fiorecartoons/the real republican debate[/fve]
The ridiculous demands pretty much got the response they deserved.
- President Obama had a field day, mocking the Republicans for “occupying a different reality” than the rest of the country, during a DNC fundraiser. “Candidates talk tough about Putin,” the president joked, “and then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators. If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”
- Fox News host Megyn Kelly mocked the candidate’s demands, asking “What do they want, a foot massage?” Kelly lit into Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during for suggesting, “If you’ve never in your life voted in a Republican primary … you shouldn’t be moderating a Republican primary debate.” “Would we have to submit out voting records to you?”, Kelly asked.
- Fox News host Bill O’Reilly had enough of the candidates’ demands. “Here’s the first demand: Stop complaining!”, he said on an appearance on the “Tonight Show.” “These guys have got to stop whining,” he said. “If you think you’re being treated unfairly, you got a microphone. Let them have it.”
- Even Fox News chief Roger Ailes suggested the GOP wannabes quit whining.
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:
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) still hopes that Congress will impeach President Obama, but told a caller on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Week” radio show it probably won’t happen, because “there are not enough in the people in the country, across America, that want him removed from office before his office is over.”
- During a speech at Liberty University, Gohmert suggested putting opposite-sex and same-sex couples on islands as an experiment, “and then let’s come back in 100 years and see which one nature favors.”
- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wants to arrest undocumented immigration activists who protest outside his office. This week, King introduced the “Ending the Sanctuary Capitol Policy,” targeting immigration protestors.
- Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), during a speech on the Senate floor, questioned whether the Senate should even exist. “Would anything be lost if the Senate didn’t exist?”, Sasse asked. “What precisely would be lost if we had only a House of Representatives, rather than both bodies?” During last year’s campaign, Sasse suggested moving the US Capitol form Washington, DC, to his home state of Nebraska.
- Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee begged Congress to defund the White House, to stop the Obama administration from extending visas to immigrants.
- Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera suggested that President Obama should be focused on the “ghetto civil war” in black neighborhoods, instead of trying to stop police brutality.
- White Republican activist Angela Box got an earful from activist Quannell X when she blamed “black culture” for a police officer’s attack on a black female student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina. Box, a former Texas educator, resigned from teaching after publicly wishing President Obama would die from Ebola.
- A former police officer schooled Fox contributor Heather MacDonald that finding racist cops isn’t “like spotting a rainbow unicorn.”
- Fox News anchor Shep Smith got in on the fun, slamming “factually wrong” right-wingers for blaming Illinois police officer Joseph Gliniewicz’s death on #BlackLivesMatter. Conservative’s declared Gliniewicz a victim in the “war on cops,” but authorities in Fox Lake, Illinois confirmed this week that Gliniewicz committed suicide after reporting a false pursuit of three “suspicious men.” Gliniewicz reportedly tried to high a gang member to murder a local official who was about to reveal that Gliniewicz had embezzled thousands of dollars from a youth program.
- Fox News host Andrea Tantaros blamed the lack of paid family leave on too much government spending on scientific research.
- Arkansas paster Jeff Crawford told his congregation that a woman has “no right over her body,” because “it all belongs to God.”
- Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis lost another bid to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals shut down her latest request for a reprieve.
- Drag queen Lady Bunny dissed Davis in an epic NSFW video, to the tune of “Going to the Chapel.”
- The Mormon Church introduced a new policy deeming married LGBT couples apostate, and prohibiting their children from being baptized or receiving blessings until they turn 18.
- Conservative blogger Theodore Shoebat said that “the people who are calling the shots at Chick-Fil-A” should be “burned at the stake.” Showboat was outraged that Chick-Fil-a was named as a sponsor of a “faith-based LGBT film festival in Tennessee.”
- Pat Robertson repeated his prediction that God will destroy financial markets because of same-sex marriage: “We’re setting up for a massive financial collapse and I think if God is going to hurt this country that’s probably the way he’d do it.”