strong>DES MOINES, Iowa — Chris Christie on Saturday ridiculed rivals for the Republican presidential nomination who are complaining about how the media has treated them in the televised debates, saying an inability to handle hostile reporters proves they're not ready for the White House.
"These guys want to spend all their time making up debate rules. While they're doing that I'll go out and get votes, okay? I'm not worried about this. Put me on the stage, and you saw on Wednesday night, I will perform. I will tell people what I think, I will answer the questions directly, and I'll win people over. So, if Ted wants to spend all his time on the rules, let him handle that. While he's doing that I'll go out and get some of the votes that he might have gotten otherwise," the New Jersey governor said, when asked to comment on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz' comments that conservative talk show hosts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh should be considered as moderators in future GOP debates.
Republican primary voters don't like a mainstream media they believe is biased toward the Democratic Party, a sentiment that was further reinforced by the questions posed to the GOP presidential candidates, and the attitude of the moderators, during the debate televised Wednesday by financial news network CNBC. The Republican contenders have been blasting the media with renewed vigor ever since (the tact was a gauranteed applause line on the stump even before the third GOP debate.) Some of the biggest critics have included Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Cruz, considered the winners of the debate.
Christie also received high marks for his debate performance, and like Cruz and Rubio, took his own shots at the moderators during the Boulder, Colo., faceoff. Christie has kept up the criticism of how CNBC handled the event in the days since. But the governor said he does not agree with the other campaigns who are calling for the Republican National Committee and the leading 2016 campaigns to take greater control of the process, possibly selecting only conservative talk show hosts and journalists as moderators to run future debates.