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GOP Candidates Condemn Mainstream Media, CNBC Moderators During Debate

GOP candidates such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump were met with applause when they criticized both the moderators and the mainstream media as a whole during CNBC's GOP Debate.

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Rachel Blevins
Rachel Blevins is a journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

During the third GOP presidential debate hosted by CNBC on Wednesday, candidates criticized both the moderators and the mainstream media as a whole.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) criticized the mainstream media when CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla noted an article from the Sun Sentinel that said “Rubio should resign, not rip us off.”

“When they say Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job, when they say you act like you hate your job- do you?” Quintanilla questioned.

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“Let me say, I read that editorial today with a great amusement,” Rubio replied. “It’s actually evidence of the bias that exists in the American media today.”

“Well, do you hate your job?” Quintanilla asked.

“Let me answer your question on the Sun Sentinel editorial today,” Rubio replied. “Back in 2004, one of my predecessors to the Senate by the name of Bob Graham, a Democrat, ran for president missing over 30 percent of his votes. I don’t recall them calling for his resignation.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: Should Marco Rubio Be Fired For Terrible Voting Record?]

Rubio also said while that in 2004, “John Kerry ran for president missing close to 60 to 70 percent of his votes,” the Sun Sentinel didn’t call for his resignation, and instead it endorsed him. “In 2008, Barack Obama missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes, and the same newspaper endorsed him again,” Rubio said. “So this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and the conservative movement.

Later on in the debate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) said that “the questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media.”

Cruz’s declaration was met with applause from the crowd in Boulder, Colorado, and he continued.

[pull_quote_center]This is not a cage match. You look at the questions: ‘Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain?’ ‘Ben Carson, can you do math?’ ‘John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?’ ‘Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?’ ‘Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?’ How about talking about the substantive issues the people care about?[/pull_quote_center]

Quintanilla tried to interject, saying, “Do we get credit?” and Cruz continued to speak.

“Carl, I’m not finished yet,” Cruz said. “The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, “Which of you is more handsome and why?”

[RELATED: How Would You Rate the CNBC Debate Moderators’ Performance?]

Cruz noted that “the questions that are being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other, it should be what are your substantive positions.”

When speaking to Donald Trump, CNBC’s Becky Quick said, “You have been very critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who has wanted to increase the number of these H1Bs,” or non-immigrant visas in the U.S.

“I was not at all critical of him. I was not at all,” Trump replied. “In fact, frankly, he’s complaining about the fact that we’re losing some of the most talented people. They go to Harvard. They go to Yale. They go to Princeton. They come from another country and they’re immediately sent out. I am all in favor of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley.”

“So I have nothing at all critical of him,” Trump concluded.

“Where did I read this and come up with this that you were…” Quick said.

“Probably, I don’t know—you people write the stuff,” Trump replied. “I don’t know where you…”

Trump was cut off by a mixture of laughter and applause from the audience.

“Very good people are making very bad decisions right now,” Trump stated. “And if anything comes out of this whole thing with some of these nasty and ridiculous questions, I will tell you, you better get rid of the SuperPacs because they causing a big problem with this country, not only in dishonesty and what’s going on, but also in a lot of bad decisions that have been made for the benefit of lobbyists and special interests.”

Quick returned to Trump’s stance on Zuckerberg and H1Bs. “You had talked a little bit about Marco Rubio,” she said. “I think you called him Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator because he was in favor of the H1B.”

“I never said that. I never said that,” Trump replied.

When failing to find a citation to back up the comment, Quick said, “My apologies. I’m sorry.”

“Since I’ve been mentioned, can I respond?” Rubio interjected.

“Yes, you can,” Quick said.

Rubio replied, noting that despite rival Hillary Clinton’s revelations during last week’s hearing on the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, the mainstream media was “going around saying it was the greatest week” in Clinton’s campaign.

[pull_quote_center]I know the Democrats have the ultimate SuperPac. It’s called the mainstream media…and I’ll tell you why. Last week, Hillary Clinton went before a committee. She admitted she had sent e-mails to her family saying, ‘Hey, this attack at Benghazi was caused by Al Qaida-like elements.’ She spent over a week telling the families of those victims and the American people that it was because of a video. And yet the mainstream media is going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton’s campaign.[/pull_quote_center]

For more election coverage, click here.

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