(CNSNews.com) – The mainstream media came in for scathing criticism during Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) accusing moderators of trying to get Republican hopefuls to “tear into each other” in contrast to “fawning” over candidates in an earlier Democratic debate.
Cruz won enthusiastic applause when he upbraided the CNBC moderators over the nature of some of the questions being put to the 10 candidates on the platform at University of Colorado Boulder.
“The questions asked in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,” he began, setting aside a question he had been asked on the debt limit.
“This is not a cage match. And if you look at the questions – Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign [from the Senate]? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?”
“How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?” Cruz challenged the moderators, before being drowned out by cheers from the audience.
Cruz contrasted that approach with the recent Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas hosted by CNN, “where every fawning question from the media was, ‘which of you is more handsome and why?’”
Warned that his time to answer the debt limit question was running out, Cruz was unrelenting.
“The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks,” he continued, referring to rival Marxist factions in early 20th century Russia.
“Nobody watching at home believes that the moderators have any intention of voting in a Republican primary,” Cruz said. “The questions that are being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other. It should be, ‘what are your substantive solutions – ’”
Other criticism of the media during the debate came when co-moderator Carl Quintanilla asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) about an editorial in The Sun-Sentinel criticizing the candidate for missing votes while campaigning and suggesting he resign from the Senate.
“I read that editorial today with a great amusement,” Rubio said. “It’s actually evidence of a bias that exists in the American media today.”
He went on to cite the proportion of votes missed by previous Democratic presidential candidates including Florida’s Sen. Bob Graham in 2004 and Sens. John Kerry and Barack Obama in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
The Sun-Sentinel had not called for Graham’s resignation, and had endorsed both Kerry and Obama, Rubio recalled.
“So this is another example of the double standards that exist in this country between the mainstream media and the conservative movement.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not hide his contempt for the standard of questions when moderators asked about fantasy football.
‘Fantasy Football!” he exploded. “We have $19 trillion in debt. We have people out of work. We have ISIS and al-Qaeda attacking us. And we’re talking about fantasy football? Can we stop?”