GOP debate tensions finally boil over: Campaigns blow up at CNBC and the RNC over greenrooms

CNBC stuffed Rand Paul and Chris Christie in the bathroom

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 28, 2015 12:18PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Carlo Allegri/AP/Reed Saxon/Photo montage by Salon)
(Reuters/Carlo Allegri/AP/Reed Saxon/Photo montage by Salon)

Wednesday night's CNBC debate came under threat of a boycott from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for a short time earlier this month after it was announced that the debate would be devoid of opening and closing statements and longer than two hours. The business network eventually caved to a two hour limit and added the sales pitches to win back The Donald and avert a crisis. But on the eve of its big event, CNBC found itself under withering complaints -- again -- this time from two separate campaigns, whining about proper pre-debate accommodations.

According to Politico, the campaigns of Rand Paul and Chris Christie blew up at CNBC and the RNC after finding that their greenrooms at the Coors Event Center in Boulder, Colorado, were significantly smaller than higher polling candidates:

Trump was granted a spacious room, complete with plush chairs and a flat-screen TV. Marco Rubio got a theater-type room, packed with leather seats for him and his team of aides. Carly Fiorina’s room had a Jacuzzi.

Then there was Chris Christie, whose small space was dominated by a toilet. So was Rand Paul’s.

During a pre-debate walk through of the facilities and what Politico describes as "a tense 30-minute meeting," Christie’s campaign manager, Ken McKay, expressed the campaigns' frustrations. “This is ridiculous ... We’re in a restroom.”

Rand Paul adviser, Chris LaCivita, was so furious he decided to shame the RNC on Twitter:

It worked. By Tuesday evening, the RNC had upgraded Paul's greenroom:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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