( CNN) President Barack Obama tore into Republican presidential candidates Monday night at a Democratic fundraising event in New York, telling their complaints about CNBC's debate moderation aren't an encouraging preview for their regulate abilities.
“Have you noticed that everyone of these candidates say, ‘Obama's weak. Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's going to straighten out, ‘” Obama told, impersonating a refrain among Republican candidates that he's let Russian President Vladimir Putin too much leeway.
“Then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at the debate. Let me tell you, if you can't handle those guys, then I don't guess the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you, ” Obama said.
Republicans widely decried the GOP primary debate sponsored by the financial news network last week, telling the questions absence substance and the moderators failed to adhere to agreed-upon standards. An effort to insist upon debate reforms, however, appeared uncertain Monday evening.
In 2007, when he was pursuing the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama had his own issues with debate hosts: Fox News. He, along with candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, skipped out of a Fox News-Congressional Black Caucus co-hosted debate, spurred by pressure from the liberal Moveon.org, which claimed Fox News was biased against Democrats.