CNBC’s Republican Presidential Debate: They Know Nothing!

Since CNBC used Cramer’s Lightning Round as part of their presidential debate format, I’ll take his now infamous “They Know Nothing!” rant and apply it to the candidates.

With CNBC co-hosting the debate, you would think the candidates would have expected that many of the questions would pertain to economic issues. Despite half watching and half preparing dinner at the time, I still know I wasn’t imagining hearing these incredible statements:

McCain was asked if he thought the Fed did the right thing by lowering interest rates. His response: “I don’t have that kind of expertise to know whether he (meaning Bernanke) has or not. I wish interest rates were 0.” WHOA! He wants to be the CEO of the U.S. and he has no freakin clue about basic Econ 101? Interest rates at 0; does he know what the word inflation means? The Senator has a one track mind – War and more war.

When asked what they believe is the greatest economic threat facing America:
Brownback: “The breakdown of the family”
Giuliani: “K-12 education.”
Romney: “Our sense of optimism.”

When asked about alternative energy sources, Giuliani replied: “It is a matter of national security to put a man on the Moon.” Uh Rudy - been there, done that. (Perhaps he was referring to getting to the Moon before the Chinese to extract all the hydrogen there?) Giuliani repeated a few times that “You have to sell more things overseas. Sell healthcare. Sell economics.” How do you “sell economics”? (How much do you think the Chinese would pay to keep Greenspan?)

And we finally got to see Fred Thompson on something besides Law and Order. Thompson said he had no problem with Dubai buying a stake in NASDAQ, but on the Iraq war said: “This is the fate of the forces of civilization against the bad guys.” C’mon Fred, most B movies don’t have lines that dopey! Then CNBC goes to commercial, and lo and behold who is it but Thompson’s Law and Order co-star Sam Waterston promoting TD Ameritrade!

All the candidates bemoaned high taxes and high spending, yet they’re all political insiders of a party with their man in the White House for eight years and a GOP-controlled Congress for most of those years. They all espoused “free trade” ad nauseam; it’s the agreements that are bad.

To quote one of their Republican colleagues, there’s a “wide stance” between these candidates and reality.

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