Much to do about debates. Particularly the GOP kind.
While you were livin’ the high-life and making plans, something continued to move around you. What, life? No, American politics! This is ‘The Rundown.’ What is ‘The Rundown’ you ask? Other than a terrific action-comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Stifler from ‘American Pie’, it’s our unique breakdown of major news stories that are currently hitting the political scene. In this edition we talk about the GOP presidential candidates coming together yesterday to propose new debate stipulations.
How Did We Get Here?
Well it all started with this statement made by Ted Cruz in last week’s GOP debate…
Which lead to applause from the GOP base, also this tweet probably swayed a few in the party…
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 29, 2015
Which lead to many in the GOP criticizing the debate process thus far…
CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled. #GOPDebate
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) October 29, 2015
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2015
Carson was not a fan of CNBC's debate: "I think the whole format was just craziness," he just said in media avail
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) October 29, 2015
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 29, 2015
Which lead to this…
Which lead us to Sunday night were a dozen campaign managers from various Republican candidates met in a room to re-discuss terms and hopefully gain more control of the GOP debate process.
So What Are Some the New Debate Demands?
Based on reports, here are some of the bigger points they expressed…
- Candidates want a minimum of 30-seconds in the beginning and end to make opening and closing statements.
There shouldn’t be any “lightning rounds” for questions, because the candidates feel they’re unfair due to the chance of “gotcha questions” being asked. (In laymen’s terms, no off-the-cuff questions, they only want moderators asking questions their campaigns pre-screened.)
They don’t want “raise your hands please” questions. Basically to avoid instances like this one from happening again.
- Eliminate candidate-to-candidate questioning.
To not have reaction shots of audience members and moderators during the debate.
Be provided with guidelines given to the audience – particularly when they can cheer – before each debate.
Candidates have the final say in what type of graphics are shown on screen. (This point might seem minor, but it actually is the hardest hitting demand of the bunch. A candidate having the right to “veto” certain information that is shown on screen gives them the potential to censor information about themselves.)
Keeping the debate hall below 67 degrees at all times. (I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s absolutely fair. Sweating in a debate can give the American people the wrong impression. Just ask Richard Nixon.)
Point/Counter-Point: Candidates Complaining About Debates
Point: If you can’t handle a few questions from journalists, then maybe you’re not fit to be THE FREAKING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!! You aren’t running to be the head of your kid’s PTA group here, it’s to become the next Leader of the Free World! So wouldn’t you want the next potential president to be vetted properly? I mean, if you get frazzled by a few off-the-cuff questions on YOUR OWN TAX PLAN (!!!), then how in the hell are you going to handle being the President of the United States?!? Answering tough questions in chaotic situations is part of becoming president, so get used to it!
Counter-Point: The problem here isn’t about answering tough questions, the problem here is about fairness. The CNBC debate proved how an ill-conceived debate format could hurt potential candidates. By not giving equal time to everyone on stage or by specifically engineering questions that would create clashes between candidates doesn’t help anyone! The past few debates have been a mess that created a chaotic environment not only for the candidates, but also confused those watching the debates trying to understand what the candidates were all about. So if televised debates aren’t helping the viewers at home in deciding where to cast their vote, then we have to ask ourselves, WHO ARE THESE DEBATES REALLY FOR!?!
The Real Story Here Is What They Didn’t Ask For
Here's the aftermath of the GOP debates meeting. pic.twitter.com/mDqUACkoEa
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) November 2, 2015
In our “expert” opinion, the debate demands that came out from yesterday’s meeting are actually… pretty benign. With the exception of potential abuses over the “veto” power on visual graphics during the debate, the GOP candidates’ demands are relatively reasonable. Which points to the actual story here…
That no one can agree on anything.
Many were expecting major demands to come out of yesterday’s meeting due to the number of complaints flung at the media, days after last week’s CNBC debate. Instead we got what you see above, basically the same debate format that has been going on for the last two or so months. Reports from the meeting have candidates not coming to a consensus on just about every major issue like: the number of debates (Ben Carson Wanted fewer debates), the number of debaters on stage (Donald Trump wants fewer debaters in the “prime-time” slot), and whether to reinstate the February 2016 NBC/Telemundo debate (Jeb Bush wants to reinstate it, Trump says he would boycott the debate if the RNC did).
The hope from Sunday night was that it would start to put into focus the insanity that has been the Republican Primary thus far. But if the reports of last night are correct, it’s still one big cluster fuck!
Let’s Check In and See What Hillary Clinton is Up To…
See GOP, you aren’t the only ones with problems!
(Photo Credit: Twitter, The Washington Post, Google Images, Clinton Presidential Library)