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If the Republican presidential candidates at CNBC's Wednesday debate had to pick the event's biggest loser, it would probably be the news media.

In answer after answer, the candidates targeted the news media, often CNBC itself, for asking what they considered to be hostile questions and making unfair criticisms.

It climaxed with Ted Cruz taking a question about the debt ceiling and using the full length of his allotted response time to bash the three moderators of the debate. "The questions that you've asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media," Cruz said to thundering applause from the audience.

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