Donald Trump said Tuesday that he is the only GOP presidential candidate fielding tough questions during the party’s debates. “I’m the one getting all the tough questions,” he said during a press conference promoting his new book “Crippled America.”
“They weren’t giving questions. It was more like statements,” Trump said of the moderators during last week’s contest in Boulder, Colo. "They were giving statements in a sarcastic, disgusting way.
“The other GOP candidates didn’t want to go through the unfair questions,” he said at Trump Tower in New York City.
The real estate mogul said CNBC moderators Becky Quick, Carl Quintanilla and John Harwood missed an opportunity for addressing the economy.
“We didn’t talk about trades, we didn’t talk about devaluations, and we didn’t talk about corporate inversions,” he said.
“These are all things that weren’t talked about during the debate,” Trump said. "Instead, we talked about fantasy football."
“The other candidates don’t even know what [corporate inversion] means,” he added, a reference to an increasingly common practice in which companies move their business addresses out of the U.S. to take advantage of lower tax rates.
Many of the Republican White House hopefuls have criticized CNBC for its handling of last week’s debate. Representatives from nearly every campaign - including Trump’s - drafted a letter over the weekend outlining how future contests should unfold.
Trump’s campaign then decided late Monday that he will negotiate the terms for debates alone.
“As we have for the previous three debates, the Trump campaign will continue to negotiate directly with the host network to establish debate criteria that will ensure Mr. Trump’s participation,” a Trump aide told The Hill in an email.
“This is no different than the process that occurred prior to the Fox, CNN and CNBC debates,” the aide added.
The Republican National Committee has struggled with the size of the party's 2016 presidential field.
The committee announced last week that it is suspending its planned partnership with NBC for a February debate in retaliation for how the CNBC event was handled.
The next Republican presidential debate is scheduled for Nov. 10 in Milwaukee.
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