The latest Democratic presidential debate often devolved in a shout fest between the candidates, but it is the moderators who have come under fire for their performance.
Or as many pointed out on social media, their lack of performance.
CBS News moderators were panned for the lack of control over Tuesday evening’s debate in South Carolina, criticized from both sides of the political aisle for failing to deliver good questions, direct the exchanges between candidates and simply just moderate.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, tweeted about the “poorly moderated debate” as it unfolded.
This poorly moderated debate so far… pic.twitter.com/W6FXEYz8nY
— Faiz (@fshakir) February 26, 2020
CNN’s Brian Stelter pointed out that other “debate pros” were already calling the event a “disaster.”
Debates are hard. TV news rivalries are hardcore. That said, debate pros at other TV networks are exchanging messages calling this a “disaster,” a “nightmare” and worse
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 26, 2020
Meghan McCain slammed the debate as “way worse than any bad day” on “The View.”
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) February 26, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden tried to stand his ground over moderators who repeatedly cut him off.
“I am not out of time. You spoke over time, and I’m going to talk,” he insisted and, at one point, nailed the problem on the head when he asked, “Can we just speak up when we want to? Is that the idea?”
Biden is the only one who attempts to abide by the debate rules. Makes uneven moderating even more unfair to him.
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) February 26, 2020
“I promise, Mr. Vice President, we are going to get to you,” moderator Gayle King assured Biden, who shot back, “You keep promising me that, but you never get to me.”
Former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile advised the moderators to “get control.”
Dear Madam Moderators: throw your shoes down.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) February 26, 2020
“Does CBS have a buzzer or something to organize this?” MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski asked.
Does CBS have a buzzer or something to organize this??? What’s going on?
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) February 26, 2020
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin was among the many print and media journalists shaking their heads.
what tree would you be? CBS should not be allowed any more debates
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 26, 2020
this is a disaster.
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) February 26, 2020
Speaking to an overseas journalist just now who cannot believe what she is watching
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 26, 2020
they should play this debate as a stress test for Navy Seals and astronauts.
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) February 26, 2020
MODERATOR: The next question is for—
EVERY CANDIDATE ON STAGE: https://t.co/UKOmoqxmMR
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) February 26, 2020
Of course, as Donald Trump Jr. pointed out, all of the Democratic infighting and a chaotic debate stage spells triumph for Republicans and President Trump’s reelection campaign.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 26, 2020
This is a pretty good pro-Trump ad all by itself.
This crew wants to take over the country when the economy is the best we’ve seen in half a century?
Do they imagine this fills voters with confidence?
— Tim Murtaugh – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TimMurtaugh) February 26, 2020
The biggest winner of the debates.
— Ben Jammin ?? (@xBenJamminx) February 26, 2020
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel slammed the debate and the candidates in a statement released Tuesday.
“The complete chaos we saw tonight shows that none of these Democrats deserve to be anywhere near the Oval Office,” McDaniel said.
The complete chaos we saw at the #DemDebate shows that none of these Democrats deserve to be anywhere near the Oval Office.
When we could hear over the crosstalk, we heard Democrats singing the same old song in support of socialism.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) February 26, 2020
“When we could hear over the crosstalk, we heard Democrats singing the same old song in support of socialism. Whether it’s tax hikes on every American, socialized medicine or open borders, their far-left policies are not resonating because voters know they will not work,” she added. “On November 3rd, voters will overwhelmingly choose to continue this great American comeback and vote to re-elect President Trump.”
The fallout from the poor job CBS News did in handling Tuesday’s Democratic debate continued on Twitter.
It’s been like this every debate. The Dems are a trainwreck, it’s not the moderator’s fault.
— Chris (@Rimer_Chris) February 26, 2020
— LuLu Baker (@lululovesdogs66) February 26, 2020
So that debate was a complete and utter waste of time.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 26, 2020
The Democrat debate was dreadful. CBS News is to blame. Inane questions by inept moderators who allowed chaos to reign for 2 agonizing hours. Sadly, viewers were the losers in this wreckage. And can someone tell the candidates to stop waving their hands like first-graders?
— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) February 26, 2020
Maybe CBS’s plan here is to run a debate so poorly, all the candidates on stage at least look more competent than CBS
If so, mission accomplished
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) February 26, 2020
So far this debate is entirely about last week’s debate. Surprised the moderators haven’t pushed candidates to talk about coronavirus, plummeting stock market, other pressing national issues.
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) February 26, 2020
Take a commercial break and get control of this. Otherwise this is a commercial for Donald Trump. Do better CBS
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) February 26, 2020
Nobody give cbs a debate again. Their moderators aren’t ready.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 26, 2020
Ugh this is really how we are landing this raggedy plane of a debate?
Asking about their favorite quotes ?
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) February 26, 2020
CBS should be embarrassed.
— John Weaver (@jwgop) February 26, 2020
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