Republicans don’t like answering questions, regardless of who is asking them

The history of Republican fear of the mainstream media is long and documented. From Nixon to Reagan, all the way down to this year’s Presidential candidates, Republicans are refusing to answer basic character building questions.

In the past, in order to cop out of hard questions, Republicans invented the myth of the liberal media. Ever since Watergate, when the mainstream media asks a Republican politician a question it can’t answer in a positive light, they simply accuse the so-called left-wing media of witch hunting or asking “gotcha” questions.

This time tested strategy allows the responder to avoid the question while allowing the Republican base to rally behind him, despite the fact the question went unanswered. We saw this strategy on display during the latest Republican debate on CNBC. It was said by some in the mainstream press that Ted Cruz won the debate just by utilizing it.

After being asked a legitimate question, Cruz responded by saying “The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media, this is not a cage match… How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?”

The so called liberally-biased question asked was:

Senator Cruz. Congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House are about to strike a compromise that would raise the debt limit, prevent a government shutdown and calm financial markets that fear of – another Washington-created crisis is on the way. Does your opposition to it show that you’re not the kind of problem-solver American voters want?

How does this question vary from the questions asked of Bernie Sanders in the first Democratic Debate? “A Gallup poll says half the country would not put a socialist in the White House… How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States?” A fair question asked by Anderson Cooper, but Bernie didn’t blame the Corporate media, did he?

Regardless of the ideology a network is pushing, the mainstream media is all about money. Just like CNBC. Mad Money. CNBC is as liberal as Ronald Reagan, both of whom are/were champions of trickle-down economics and Wall Street. Ted Cruz and the other candidate’s liberal accusations against them are therefore completely unfounded.

When you get to the authoritative, right-wing extremism of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson, it is absolutely no surprise to see them rejecting any line of questioning. These borderline fascists don’t like to have their views questioned. Period.

When presented with facts and statistics that don’t fit their narrative, they will accuse the press of being biased and deceitful ten times out of ten. They have no choice, their personalities will not permit them to admitting they’re wrong.

So despite being asked legitimate questions concerning their economic plans for America, the CNBC Debate was followed by Carson, Trump, Rubio, and several other candidates including Cruz declaring war on NBC and the “liberal media” in general.

No one points out of course that CNBC is not Liberal, nor is Fox News for that matter. How quick we are to forget that Republican candidates, namely Donald Trump, had problems with Fox News Debate Moderator Megyn Kelly. Is she too liberal?

Ben Carson’s campaign team has since come out and stated that they would like to have 140 Minutes of opening and closing statements at the next debate. Basically taking the debate out of the debate. Everyone’s a winner!

Ted Cruz, whose presidential campaign raised $1.1 million in the 22 hours following the CNBC debate, has said that only conservatives should moderate future debates. “How about instead of a bunch of attack journalists, we actually have real conservatives. Could you imagine a debate moderated by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin?”

I can imagine it, but it wouldn’t be a debate. It would be like watching any two hours of Fox News. Just another conservative love fest.

In the end, whether they realize it or not, all this whining is playing right into democratic hands. When the primaries are decided and it’s time for the real war to be fought, the Republican nominee is going to be cowering away in their bunker.

If they can’t handle simple questions about their budget plan, immigration policy or problem solving skills, how in the world do they plan to answer tough questions like climate change and income inequality during a debate with their Democratic rival?

Quite frankly, if certain Republican candidates win, I suspect we won’t even see a national televised debate, because blaming the liberal media will not be an answer you can win with.


  1. What is concerning to me, beyond the mendacity of the Republican candidates, is that the “mainstream media”—which I define as national media outlets that do not serve as mouthpieces for either of the political parties—is and has been, for some time, so intimidated by the criticisms of the American Right that it does not or cannot or will not call out conservatives for either their lies/misleading statements/insinuations or for their destructive/obstructive actions.

    There are not always two sides to every argument. Example: Marco Rubio clearly lied about his personal finances—among other things—during the last debate. Joe Scarborough, for God’s sake, called him out the next morning by straight-up saying that Rubio lied. At the same time, he could not get Chuck Todd, a guest that morning, to admit that Rubio lied. The Chuckster simply could not bring himself to say it, dancing all around it but unwilling to say it. There are not two sides to that issue. Rubio lied about his personal finances during the debate. But Todd’s unwillingness to say it implied that maybe there was more to the story. There isn’t, as Scarborough noted.

    Put another way: If Hillary Clinton had come close to lying on a nationally televised debate the way Rubio, Carson, Trump, Cruz et al did, the “mainstream media” would have strung her up in Times Square and Maureen Dowd would still be stripping flesh from bone. Yet Ashley Parker, in the NYT, published a piece on Friday that actually made the laughable attempt to give credibility to the faux-indignant bloviating of the Republicans about their treatment by the media. She made no mention of the lies, which were so bad that the New Republic called the debate “The GOP’s Festival of Lies.” That was actually the only storyline coming from that debate—the prevarication of the GOP candidates—yet they are all still standing and Maureen Dowd is still waiting for Hillary to come close to such hypocrisy.

  2. I live in an extremely conservative place. I interact with people who have a biased view of the world that has been created by the media and their religious leaders that has very little to do with reality. When they are confronted with actual truth, they angrily reject it.
    The world that the Republican candidates inhabit is, in my opinion, is likened to a parallel universe. Whether they actually believe their narrative, or if they see that it is in their best interests to perpetrate it to curry favor with their base is hard to know.

  3. Well said, quiet Mike. Well said. If these people can’t answer a question they don’t like now, what happens when they have no choice but to respond to questions they can’t ignore?

    The reason Sanders didn’t have a problem answering the questions given to him wad that he has more respect for the media than any of his republican challengers. Someone like him will have no problem speaking to anyone.

    Like a leader should.

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