The Debate Questions: Slanted or Fair?

Posted: Sep 07, 2011 10:45 PM

NBC's Brian Williams and Politico's John Harris moderated Wednesday's GOP debate, which lasted just under two hours.

Their biggest critic might have been Newt Gingrich, who took some of the few minutes allocated to him in the debate to go after the media.

"Well, I'm frankly not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting each other," Gingrich said in response to a leading question from Harris on health care and the different approaches taken by Texas (aka Rick Perry) and Massachusetts (aka Mitt Romney).

Overall, the questions were fairly average. The first several minutes of the debate were directed at Romney and Perry and dealt with jobs, with the moderators allowing the two to go back and forth. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was not asked about her husband and being submissive (thank heavens). Gingrich and Romney were asked whether they would keep Chairman Ben Bernanke in their administrations.

MSNBC did receive some criticism via Twitter for appearing to stereotype -- bringing in Jose Diaz-Balart from Telemundo onstage for only a small portion of the debate to talk about immigration reform and asking questions on border security at one point in the debate.

"NBC: "Thank you, Anchor w Hispanic Surname. We are now finished with the immigration portion of this debate. You may leave," was how conservative pundit Mary Katharine Ham characterized the move on Twitter.

But the most interesting part of the night came when Brian Williams tried to press Perry on the death penalty in Texas. When Williams mentioned Texas' forceful implementation of the policy, the audience clapped in support of Texas' stance.

Williams was shocked, and asked Perry what he thought about that response. Perry responded along the lines that Americans support justice.