Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe Trail 2016: On the fringe FULL SPEECH: Hillary Clinton links Trump to 'alt-right' in Reno Presidential hopefuls still bank on retail politics MORE (R-Texas) says the moderators at CNBC’s GOP presidential debate were “left-wing operatives” trying to weaken Republican presidential candidates.
He added future debates should be hosted by moderators who have voted in the Republican primary at least once in their lives.
“What you wouldn’t have is a bunch of left-wing operatives whose object is that whoever the Republican nominee is, they want him as battered and bruised as possible so the Democrat wins in November,” Cruz said at the Iowa GOP’s Growth and Opportunity Party in Des Moines on Saturday.
“Instead you’d have moderators that were trying to help conservatives make a decision who’s going to be the best and strongest conservative to represent us and win, who is the proven conservative, the consistent conservative,” he added.
Cruz noted that even though the debate was branded as an economic-policy forum, the moderators did not ask a single question about Obamacare.
“How do you have a debate on the economy and never mention Obamacare?” he said. “You talk to small-business owners, Obamacare is the single biggest job-killer in this country, and yet the moderators — apparently there are no questions to be asked about Obamacare.”
“Other things that weren’t mentioned at the debate: Common Core, ISIS, Iran,” he added. “But, you know what? We had plenty of time to talk about fantasy football.”
The Texas senator and presidential candidate suggested a debate should be hosted by conservative radio hosts Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.
“You know, how about we stop letting left-wing liberals moderate Republican debates?” he said.
“How about instead of a bunch of attack journalists, we actually have real journalists?"
The Republican National Committee pulled out of a future debate with CNBC parent network NBC in response to the Wednesday debate.
Republicans accused the moderators of asking loaded questions aimed at embarrassing candidates, rather than focusing on substantive issues.