If the Republicans are right that televised debates have turned into cage matches and that moderators betray a liberal bias, there's a solution. Before next Tuesday's debate hosted by Fox Business News, how about letting the candidates see the questions in advance?
If the candidates, moderators, viewers and voters all want substance, then give the candidates time to think about their answers beforehand.
The condition is that candidates must answer the question being asked, not the question they want to answer. They also have to provide data and peer-reviewed research to show how their numbers add up, what effect their tax plans will have on the deficit, how they'd "save" Social Security, and so on.
Sure, the Republican debate on CNBC two weeks ago was a bit of a mess. But as Brian Steel, CNBC's senior vice president for public relations, said afterward, "People who want to be president of the United States should be able to answer tough questions."
Here are some examples: