Republicans Demand Kinder, Gentler Debates With Multiple Choice Questions

Donald Trump brought his favorite album

Following Wednesday's GOP primary debate in which mean CNBC moderators asked him questions that required him to do math or lie about that decade he shilled for quack cancer cures, Dr. Ben Carson decided he's had enough of biased reporters who want him to answer their questions instead of asking the questions he'd prefer to answer. And by golly, he seems to have sparked a revolt of several other GOP campaigns against the Republican National Committee and TV networks.

At a Thursday press conference in Lakewood, Colorado, Carson called on all the other Republican presidential campaigns to join him in demanding that all debate questions be slow-pitch softballs, right over the plate, for the sake of fairness:

“Debates are supposed to be established to help the people get to know the candidate,” Carson said at a news conference before a speech at Colorado Christian University. “What it’s turned into is -- gotcha! That’s silly. That’s not helpful to anybody.”

[contextly_sidebar id="cUtpgB5teLh0mVYO8NTRojIQeXFvEjC4"]Obviously, Carson was merely trying to do the Christian thing: If debate moderators would simply not ask him about his long-running involvement with Mannatech, the scammy maker of worthless aloe-and-tree-bark nutritional supplements that settled a false-advertising lawsuit in Texas for $7 million in 2007, then he wouldn't have to lie and say that he "didn't have any involvement" with them beyond giving a couple of speeches. It's quite unfair of the media to keep asking about it now that he's denied it, even if they have a bunch of "facts" and "evidence."

And it's a sure bet the other Republican candidates are sick and tired of having difficult questions asked of them, like whether their tax plans are based on complete fantasies or just really, really optimistic wishes.

Carson's idea has already gained traction; on Thursday, Politico reported that a number of campaigns are planning to meet Sunday to make plans for a coup against their cruel overlords:

It was time, top aides to at least half a dozen of the candidates agreed, to begin discussing among themselves how the next debates should be structured and not leave it up to the RNC and television networks.

The gathering is being organized by advisers to the campaigns of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham, according to multiple sources involved in the planning. Others who are expected to attend, organizers say, are representatives for Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum.

Ooh, it's just like that meeting of the Five Families in the first Godfather movie, except there's no Don Corleone to get the others to fall into line. Or horse heads. Yet, anyway.

At his Colorado presser, Carson also decried the politicization of political debates. No, really, he did:

“Using it for political purposes just doesn’t make any sense at all,” Carson said. “The first thing we’re looking for is moderators who are actually interested in getting the facts, and not just gotcha questions.”

And of course, his primary example of a "gotcha" question was all that unnecessary blather Wednesday about Mannatech:

"The questions about Mannatech are definitely gotcha questions," Carson said. "There’s no truth to them. I know people know how to investigate. They can easily go back and find out I don’t have any formal relations with Mannatech. They can easily find out that any videos I did with them were not paid for, were things I truly believed. That would be easy to do. If they had another agenda, they could investigate and say — see, there’s nothing there! But if they have a gotcha agenda, they conveniently ignore all the facts and try to influence public opinion."

Gosh, that clears things up quite a bit. Ben Carson only gave a couple of paid speeches for Mannatech, and his other promotional videos for its products were done gratis, because he really believed in the efficacy of a combination of aloe and larch bark in treating cancer. So they do not count.

Then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's lawsuit also accused the company of presenting testimonials from other users who believed that Mannatech's "glyconutrients" helped cure autism, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and heart disease, and "treated or mitigated diseases including but not limited to toxic shock syndrome, heart failure, asthma, arthritis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder, and lung inflammation."

But it's a totally unfair "gotcha" question to suggest that world-famous neurosurgeon Ben Carson might have dubious judgment merely because he willingly provided free testimonials in favor of "medical" scamsters, for years after they'd paid millions of dollars in settlement money. Hey, if he praised their fraud for free, he was not "involved" with them! We understand now: Ben Carson isn't merely a lying idiot, he thinks we are, too.

Maybe someone should ask Carson about it at the next debate.

[WaPo / Politico / National Review]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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