At least one GOP candidate decided to blame the media — and academia — for many of the ills in the nation today. And he took it out on CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, one of the moderators of the debate in Rochester, MI.
In a discussion about Occupy Wall St., Gingrich concluded with, “It’s sad that the news media doesn’t report accurately how the economy works.”
“What exactly… Mr. Speaker. I’m sorry, but what is the media reporting inaccurately about the economy?” asked Bartiromo. “What?” said Gingrich. Bartiromo repeated and Gingrich shot back: “I love humor disguised as a question, that’s terrific,” said Gingrich dismissively.
While Mr. Herman Cain stayed on his 9-9-9 message, 20 minutes into the debate Bartiromo went there with the candidate asking — to boos — about “character issues” and whether the American people should hire him. Co-moderator John Harwood followed up with Mitt Romney — and more boos — asking if he’d keep Cain on as CEO if Romney’s Bain Capital had bought Cain’s company. “Look, look. Herman Cain is the person to respond to these questions. He just did. The American people in this room and across the country can make their own assessment on that.”
Harwood moved on: “Governor Huntsman let me move back to the economy.” The crowd liked that line. (Clip after the jump).
After the debate, which went about 20 minutes longer than scheduled, Bartiromo Tweeted, “We tried to stick to economic issues. And I think there were many winners. I am not upset the crowd booed over cain q. We had to ask once.”
Candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann praised Bartiromo and Harwood in a post-debate interview: “I want to give credit to CNBC. I think you as moderators set a tone because you weren’t baiting one candidate to go after another. A lot of times, if you notice previous debates, that will happen.”