Ted Cruz: 'Sure,' RNC Is at Fault for CNBC Debate Debacle

By Susan Jones | October 30, 2015 | 6:42am EDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, takes part in the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., on Oct. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says "sure," the Republican National Committee is at fault for allowing debates where liberal moderators "belittle" and "insult" Republican candidates rather than "help primary voters decide who to vote for."

"Why would our primary debates be moderated by people with an agenda of defeating whoever the Republican nominee is?" Cruz asked on Thursday.

Cruz noted that both the Democrat debates and the Republican debates "are primarily moderated by liberals...it's the same people," but the objectives are different, he told Fox News's Bret Baier.

"In the Democratic debate, they get a ton of love from the moderators, and it's all praising the different candidates, avoiding too much clash. On the Republican side, you look at an awful lot of the media interviewers, their object is whoever the Republican nominee is, to beat up on them, and to have people either stay home or vote for Hillary Clinton.

Cruz said he's not afraid of tough questions -- he said he gets them all the time. "But let's have a debate that's actually useful. So for example, last night I suggested how about having a debate moderated by Sean Hannity and Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh.

"Now, I think Republican primary voters would really like to see that. Those are strong, rock-crib conservatives, they're going to be voting in a Republican primary and they're going to ask questions that actually would help people determine who has been the strongest conservative. Who has been consistent?"

Cruz pointed to the last debate cycle in 2012: "We all remember George Stephanopoulos asking the Republican candidates what's your view on Griswold versus Connecticut on birth control. You remember all the candidates were puzzled. They were scratching their head -- 'What are you asking this for, George?'

"And he kept asking and asking and asking. Then we found out about a month later that that was the opening charge of the Democrats' made-up war on women, that it was a so-called media person who obviously had been a Clinton political operative -- launching the first wave of an attack."

"Why would our primary debates be moderated by people with an agenda of defeating whoever the Republican nominee is?"

One of Cruz's competitors, Dr. Ben Carson, on Thursday agreed that the RNC needs to find a better way to do the debates.

He said he's asked his staff to "reach out" to the staffs of all the Republican candidates to discuss a different kind of debate format.

"Perhaps something where you have two, three, four, five minutes to talk about your policies, about your tax policies, about other kinds of things and then be questioned about them. That kind of information would indeed be very helpful to the populace," Carson told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Thursday night.

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