Charles Krauthammer analyzes the CNBC Republican debate on FOX News' The O'Reilly Factor:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the headline for me is the one for you. This is the most appalling performance by the moderators that I can remember seeing in a debate. They were overreaching, they were getting in the way. They were in the end obnoxious and I think what they did is they were able to set themselves up as the foils for the Republicans. So I think it actually strengthened the field and made them look better...
I don't think this is a corporate decision. I think the panelists were all flaming liberals. I don't know who it was who said none of you is going to be a voter in the Republican primary. And it showed. I mean this is just a bias. And also the lack of self-restraint, the arrogance, interrupting and it was also disorganized, it was not well done. But I thought Rubio was on the defensive and this is why he did so well... He knew he was going to be hit with that editorial and it came from Bush, who obviously had prepared it.
And I think Rubio came off that very strongly. He got the first applause from the audience as a result of that. And Christie I also thought was a guy who pivoted. The best question was unexpected, it was an obvious one, about fantasy football. It went to Bush. And he just showed he's a good man, he was a good governor but he ain't nimble. And he just fumbled around on the fantasy thing, 'well, it ought to be regulated but then again I don't think the feds ought to regulate it.' And Christie then came in and said, 'Wait a minute. We're talking about we've got all these troubles and ISIS, and the debt. That I thought, and what he did there, he came off attacking the big government idea. The second nemesis of conservatives is big media. And that is where Rubio scored and that is why I think he got the strongest response.