Here’s The Embarrassing List Of Debate Demands Republicans Just Sent To Networks

Following CNBC’s Republican presidential debate that required candidates to actually defend their positions rather than just parrot talking points, the entire conservative right revolted. Apparently, asking questions like “explain how your tax plan would actually work, because it’s mathematically impossible” are now considered “gotcha” questions, and part of a liberal conspiracy to make Republicans look dumb by letting them talk.

To rectify this “liberal bias,” the Republican candidates huddled up and wrote down a list of insane demands they would ask every network every network besides Fox News to concede to before they would submit to before they would agree to the debate. Fox News got a pass because, according to several of the campaigns, they didn’t want to risk making network head Roger Ailes mad. Wow.

The list is long, ludicrous, and will someday be held up as perhaps the ultimate low point in the Republican Party’s rush to the bottom.

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa managed to obtain the campaigns’ letter which they sent to all hosting networks. It begins:

Dear _____:

This letter is on behalf of the 15 Republican Presidential campaigns. We are aware that you are sponsoring a debate on _____ at ______. Below and attached are questions about your debate to which the campaigns would appreciate answers at your earliest convenience, and in any event no later than a month from today.

The answers you provide to these questions are part of a process that each campaign will use to determine whether its candidate will participate in your debate.

In other words, if Republicans think the debate will be too hard or portray them in a less than positive light, they will boycott.

After asking the networks to explain the specifics of how each debate will be set up (when it will be held, what format it will take, how the opening statements work, etc.), the letter suddenly veers towards outrageous demands the networks must agree to before Republicans will come.

The letter asks that networks avoid the following:

  • Allow candidate-to-candidate questions (read: actually have a debate)
  • Have a “lightening round” (it’s only fitting that they misspelled a word in their letter meant to ensure they don’t look dumb)
  • Have reaction shots of members of the audience or moderators during the debates
  • Show an empty podium after a break (describe how far away the bathrooms are) (???)
  • Use behind the shots of candidates showing their notes (This seems to be a fear ever since Sarah Palin – never known for substance – was caught with the words “Energy … Tax cuts … Lift American spirit” hilariously written on her hand before a speech.)

They also demand to know who is allowed to be in the audience and what instructions they are given about cheering. And for certain sweatier candidates, they also demand that the temperature be kept below 67 degrees.

All of this reeks of a growing insecurity within the Republican Party about their presidential chances. Despite having 15 active candidates, they have zero stand outs who have any hope of being elected in the general election. Their biggest candidates – Trump, Carson, and Fiorina – have proven to be fact-checking manna from heaven. They simply cannot stop saying truly idiotic things into microphones. This is especially true during debates.

It’s no wonder then that the Republican Party is hoping to quash any hope of a candid, informed debate about policy and instead turn the “debates” into heavily-scripted performance pieces played out on stage. This letter seems to prove everything critics have been saying about the Republican presidential field: They are shallow clowns incapable of answering hard questions without completely falling apart and crying about big bad liberals being mean.

How unpresidential.

Featured image via CNBC