CNN South Carolina Debate–Great candidates and an imbecile moderator

On Friday, January 20th, I address the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. On  Saturday, January 21st, South Carolina has its primary. I would like to say that this is direct causation, but sadly it is coincidental.

On Thursday, January 19th, the Republicans had their final debate before the primary. Only 4 candidates remained: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul. Earlier in the week Jon Huntsman dropped out and endorsed Romney. Earlier in the day Rick Perry dropped out and endorsed Gingrich. The debate was put together by CNN, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, and the Tea Party Patriots.

The good news regarding the debate is that all four candidates did well. I have been sharply critical of Ron Paul, but I am giving him his due. This was one of his best debate performances. I scored the debate a 4 way tie. All of them put in strong performances.

The bad news is that the debate itself was a disaster. CNN has not been a credible news organization since Bernard Shaw retired. John King is the Jon HUntsman of the media, but worse. King is  substanceless pretty boy not fit to shine the shoes of Tim Russert or Jim Lehrer.

There was not foreign policy question in the entire 2 hour debate. There was nothing about Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, Israel and the Palestinians, Syria murdering its own citizens, or the regime change in North Korea.

John King began the debate by bringing up allegations by Gingrich’s ex-wife.

To paraphrase: Speaker Gingrich, I have unsubstantiated allegations against you by an ex-wife who may have an ax to grind. These charges come at the 11th hour, only 2 days before the primary. However, since CNN despises Republicans, I am going to ask about them since it casts you in a bad light.

When asked if he wanted to discuss the allegations, Gingrich said “No.”

The crowd laughed, but Gingrich was just getting warmed up.

“I am appalled you would begin a debate that way.”

“This is despicable.”

“I am astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate.”

When John King tried to claim that he was just reporting what others were speaking about, Gingrich made the buck stop with King.

“You and your staff to chose to start with it. Don’t blame it on someone else. I’m tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama.”

King tried to get the other candidates to bash Gingrich. None of them took the bait.

Rick Santorum: “We are all fallen.”

Mitt Romney: “Let’s get on to the real issues.”

Ron Paul: “We talk about corporations that run campaigns. What about the corporations that run the media?”

At that moment CNN operatives decided that it was illegal to live blog the debate. I was forced to close my computer.

Then I tried to text my editor to explain what happened, and was told that texting during the debate was forbidden.

So thank you CNN for being a useless, worthless organization.  I understand you want to be the only voice analyzing the debate so you can get it wrong. Heaven forbid somebody offer anything other than the Obama perspective.

I took notes by scribbling in a notepad. I could transcribe it, but the questions were worthless.

CNN should be banned from future Republican primary debates. CNN cannot be banned from the general election, but a Republican primary should be about Republican voters. CNN imported several of their own people to sit in the audience. Naturally they were Obama supporters.

What business do Obama supporters have attending a GOP debate?

Democrats boycott Fox News, but the difference is people actually watch Fox News. Also, Democrats don’t take questions from Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh. Until conservatives demand that only real journalists be allowed to ask questions, they will continue to look bad on television.

In a primary debate with a mostly GOP audience, the candidates managed to still receive thunderous applause as John King was booed from start to finish. Yet in a general election Republicans will be at the mercy of the liberal media unless they stand up and demand unbiased moderators who ask intelligent questions.

This debate will quickly be forgotten. The only downside is long after the GOP primary, John King and CNN will still exist.

The candidates were outstanding. The debate was a disgrace.

This is CNN.


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