Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus finally pulled the plug on CNBC, trashing the questions from the debate moderators on stage and describing the event as “a pretty hostile environment.”
“I was very disappointed in the moderators. I’m very disappointed at CNBC,” he said in the spin room to reporters after the debate. “I thought maybe they would bring forward a pretty fair forum here tonight, but I think it was one gotcha question, one personal low blow after the other.”
Priebus ignored followup questions after his approximately one minute statement that reflected the frustrations voiced by the candidates on stage, including Sen. Ted Cruz.
“It’s almost like they tried to design a Rubik’s cube for every question to take the worst element I think of what moderators and what the media should bring to the table, and all I can tell you is that I’m proud of our candidates for pretty much sticking together,” he concluded.
Priebus’s comments are a quick reversal after he not only set up, but stood by CNBC as candidates chafed at the criteria. Donald Trump and Ben Carson finally teamed up to push back on the length of the debate, earning one of the few concessions from the network that many Republicans were skeptical of running a fair debate.
On Twitter, Preibus continued to criticize the debate, saying that the network should be “ashamed” of their performance.
CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled. #GOPDebate
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) October 29, 2015