By Jordan Fabian - 11/02/15 09:22 PM EST
President Obama on Monday mocked Republican presidential candidates as thin-skinned for lashing out at CNBC over the network’s handling of last week’s primary debate.
“They say, ‘when I talk to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he’s going to straighten out,' " he said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City. "And then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators."
“If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you,” Obama added.
Obama, who took his daughters Malia and Sasha to see the critically acclaimed show in July, said he was “annoyed” he did not get to see it again.
“Michelle and I love this show. It also happens to be the only thing Dick Cheney and I agree on," he joked.
Republican presidential campaigns were furious over last Wednesday’s CNBC debate, accusing moderators of showing political bias, asking unfair questions and not giving candidates equal portions of speaking time.
The Republican National Committee announced last week it would pull out of a planned Feb. 26 debate hosted by NBC amid a revolt by the candidates.
Seeking to wrest control over debate process from the RNC, the campaigns gathered Sunday night to draft a list of demands they hoped to extract from debate hosts going forward.
But GOP candidate Donald Trump threw a wrench into that plan when he announced Monday he would negotiate with the hosts on his own.
The president pointed to the debate fracas as just one example of how the GOP candidates “occupy a different reality.” He criticized their positions on a whole host of issues, including immigration reform, climate change and his bailout of the auto industry.
“According to them, everything was going really great in 2008. ... This apparently was the golden age, that I messed up,” he said. “And ObamaCare and immigrants and taxes and deficits all just messed everything up. And they’re really so glum. They really are so frustrated.”
Obama’s comments could touch a nerve with Republicans, who have been deeply critical of his handling of the gruff Russian leader. Many say Obama’s weakness in dealing with Putin has led him to expand Russia’s influence in Ukraine and Syria.
“We're being walked all over because our commander in chief is weak in the eyes of our enemies,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senators buck spending bill over Export-Import Bank Pelosi pans latest GOP stopgap spending offer MORE (R-S.C.) said during the CNBC undercard event. “Do you think Putin would be in the Ukraine today if Ronald Reagan were president?”