CNBC's Republican Debate Moderators Slammed for Rude, Biased Questions

(Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking)Republican U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015.

CNBC's Republican presidential debate moderators were booed several times by the audience and slammed by the candidates for their perceived biases.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie exploded when they asked about fantasy football.

"Fantasy Football! We have 19 trillion dollars in debt, we have people out of work, and IS and al-Qaeda attacking us, and we're talking about fantasy football?" Christie shouted.

Before Christie's outburst, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush fielded a question from the CNBC panel about the controversy surrounding fantasy betting sites like Fanduel and DraftKings and what the government should do to regulate it.

Bush bragged that he was 7-0 in his fantasy league before Christie interjected asking for a more serious tone for the problems facing our nation.

Social media was abuzz with constant complaints about the bias and poor performance from the panel of moderators on the cable business network.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking)Republican U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (L) speaks as businessman Donald Trump (R) listens at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015.

The GOP debate, which took place in Boulder, Colorado, was criticized by liberal and conservative journalists alike. The main moderators were John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla.

Even the far left political site Think Progress called the moderators' performance a "train wreck."

"Biggest loser of this debate isn't JEB. It's MSM [mainstream media]. We've earned this bashing," tweeted liberal journalist Ron Fournier of the National Journal.

While Christie received rapt applause for denouncing the panel, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received his own thunderous ovation for attacking the panel for the tone and authenticity of their questions.

"The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media," Cruz declared. "This is not a cage match."

Author and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro subsequently tweeted: "Great, great move by Cruz. The media is pathetic, and Cruz's smack down on the moderators is beautiful."

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(Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking)Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) Governor John Kasich, former Governor Mike Huckabee, former Governor Jeb Bush, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, businessman Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Chris Christie and U.S. Rep. Rand Paul pose before the start of the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who was aggressively attacked by a CNBC panelist for missing votes in the Senate while suggesting he should resign, struck back at the line of questioning.

"You know, the Democrats have the ultimate super PAC, it's called the mainstream media," Rubio asserted.

"And I'll tell you why, last week Hillary Clinton went before a committee, she admitted she had sent emails to her family saying, hey, this attack in Benghazi was caused by al-Qaeda-like elements.

"She spent over a week telling the families of those victims and the American people that it was because of a video," said Rubio. "And yet, the mainstream media is going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"It was the week she got exposed as a liar. But she has her super PAC helping her out, the American mainstream media," he added.

At one point, clearly frustrated by the performance of CNBC panelists during the debate, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky interjected about the rules, which seemed to be inconsistently enforced.

"What are the rules on who gets to follow-up? Are there rules?" asked Paul. Quick, a CNBC journalist, interjected: "Nope. It's at our discretion."

Quick's comments seemed to sum up what most of the audience seemed to be feeling while watching the third televised GOP debate.

Harwood of CNBC and The New York Times asked Donald Trump if his presidential run was just a "comic book version of a campaign?"

Trump, who took offense at the question shot back, saying, "No, not a comic book, and it's not a very nicely asked question the way you say that."

There were lighter moments during the evening, especially when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced that he was wearing a Donald Trump tie and that he "loved" the billionaire candidate while calling him "a good man."

"Let me tell you, Donald Trump would be a better president every day of the week and twice on Sunday, rather than Hillary," Huckabee quipped. "I've spent a lifetime in politics fighting the Clinton machine."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement after the debate complaining about "deeply unfortunate questioning from CNBC."

The moderators "should be ashamed of how this debate was handled," he added.