How They Did: A Breakdown of the Republican Debate on CNBC

October 29, 2015 12:42 PM

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If there was one clear loser, it was CNBC. The main moderators — Becky Quick, Carl Quintanilla and John Harwood, who is also a contributor to The New York Times — lost control early and never quite regained it. The result: a chaotic hodgepodge, with the moderators talking over not just the candidates but one another. CNBC had hosted the memorable 2011 debate in which Rick Perry had his famous “Oops” moment. This time, the candidates seemed more sure-footed than the moderators, who prematurely cut off several sharp exchanges. And the hosts’ attempts to fact-check on the fly suggested that they had not quite completed their homework, as when Ms. Quick pressed Donald J. Trump — correctly, it turned out, but hesitantly — about a barb he had flung at Senator Marco Rubio of Florida involving the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

Attacked by Jeb Bush over his poor Senate voting record, Mr. Rubio dispatched his fellow Floridian with a single, biting line, alluding to Mr. Bush’s campaign struggles, “The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attack...

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