Did President Obama Lift His CNBC Joke From Megyn Kelly?

By Mark Joyella 

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President Obama made plenty of headlines with his joke about the Republican presidential candidates and their complaints over being poorly treated at the CNBC debate last week.

Obama said it didn’t speak well of the Republicans if they “can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators…if you can’t handle those guys then I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about it.”

As Aaron Blake points out in The Washington Post, the punchline has a certain familiar ring about it, since Chris Christie made the same joke two days earlier, in an interview on Fox & Friends:

“The moderators didn’t control the debate. They did an awful job. Their bias was showing, and it was despicable,” he said. “Now, that being said, if you’re running for president of the United States and you can’t handle yourself against three CNBC moderators without, you know, crying foul and calling for intervention, then you’re not gonna do very well against Vladimir Putin either.”

But Christie could also be accused of lifting the line–from Megyn Kelly, who commented about Donald Trump’s criticism of her tough questions in the first Fox News debate, “if you can’t get past me, how are you gonna handle Vladimir Putin?”