In an interview on Fox Business on Thursday, Gov. John Kasich said he thought the moderators of Wednesday night’s Republican Presidential debate did “fine.”
“Everybody’s criticizing them, I thought they did fine,” Kasich said. “There were some questions that people asked that others didn’t like, but I would say, by and large, it was a fairly controlled debate.”
Virtually everyone has lambasted CNBC for how poorly the moderators behaved, particularly John Harwood, who purposefully mischaracterized Marco Rubio’s tax plan in an attempt to trip him up onstage. The top of the Drudge Report decried CNBC’s moderators as the “shame of the nation,” while others noted that it “flew off the rails.” Even Think Progress noted that the debate was a “total trainwreck.”
Immediately after the debate, Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, took to Twitter to blast CNBC.
CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled. #GOPDebate
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) October 29, 2015
While Kasich’s grading of the moderators is completely at odds with the opinions of pretty much every single other person on earth who watched the debates, it actually makes sense.
Kasich received a lot of speaking time during last night’s debate. The final tally from NPR revealed that Kasich spoke for a total of 9 minutes and 42 seconds, putting him at #3 on the list of who got the most time. Kasich even beat out Ben Carson and Donald Trump, the two front-runners according to most recent polls. By way of comparison, Kasich received a whopping 1 percent in several of the most recent state and national polls.
Final: Fiorina: 10:32 Rubio: 10:10 Kasich: 9:42 Trump: 9:26 Christie: 8:31 Huckabee: 7:39 Cruz: 7:34 Carson: 7:02 Bush: 6:39 Paul: 6:15
NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) October 29, 2015
Perhaps one of the most telling moments about how favorably Kasich was treated came when Harwood asked Kasich to bash the other opponents on stage without even asking him to answer a particular question.
HARWOOD: I’m about to ask you about this.
That is, you had some very strong words to say yesterday about what’s happening in your party and what you’re hearing from the two gentlemen we’ve just heard from. Would you repeat it?
When Kasich didn’t get nasty enough towards the other candidates for Harwood’s tastes, the CNBC moderator pressed him to go further:
HARWOOD: Well, let’s just get more pointed about it. You said yesterday that you were hearing proposals that were just crazy from your colleagues. Who were you talking about?
So John Kasich, who made a name for himself by forcing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion down his state’s throat, was treated very well by a panel of unabashedly liberal moderators who went out of their way to attack just about everyone on stage, except for John Kasich.
It’s no surprise Kasich has nothing bad to say about the moderators, because they treated him with kid gloves last night. This treatment is consistent with how the rest of the mainstream media treats Kasich, because they just can’t seem to get enough of him.