CNBC Moderators: Candidates Hoping People Don’t Care About Facts, We Wanted to ‘Play Out the Divide’ In GOP Field

CNBC debate moderators John Harwood and Sharon Epperson said, “I wanted to…play out the divide in the Republican field” and “They’re hoping that people don’t really care about the facts” while discussing the GOP presidential debate on Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hardball.”

When asked what his goal in the debate was, Harwood said, “I wanted to do two things. One was to play out the divide in the Republican field between the outsiders, Trump and Carson, and the traditional candidates. We saw it the last few days it. John Kasich saying there’s crazy stuff happening in our party. We need to get serious. So, let him make that case, let them respond to the case. The second thing, was to try to get the candidates to defend the — and explain the economic proposals that they have, to help average workers in this economy. And so we asked a lot about their tax plans, about the distribution of income, income inequality, and some of those questions, especially given the prescriptions that they’re offering, are questions that feel hostile to those Republican candidates.”

Epperson stated, “my goal was to come in and try to get people to talk about the issues that matter to the American people, get the candidates to discuss issues that matter to people’s wallets, and to ask Carly Fiorina about the sharing economy and what’s going to be done in terms of people being able to save for retirement, and have her say the federal government should do nothing about it, that was telling for the American people, who are part of the sharing economy to know that if Carly Fiorina is president, she would not do anything to help you with your retirement.”

Harwood also stated, “There were a lot of conservatives before the debate who were urging them to go hard after the media. That’s what they did.”

After Harwood criticized answers given by Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, Epperson added, “They’re hoping that people don’t really care about the facts, and I think they’re wrong about that.”

Host Chris Matthews praised both Harwood and Epperson as “totally straight reporters” at the end of the interview.

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