Even when Donald Trump was not on the debate stage, CNN could not stop themselves from making him the center of attention.
In the loser debate which aired before the main debate on CNN, Donald Trump was the focus of the questions.
There were only 4 candidates on the stage and the first questions each candidate got was about Donald Trump.
The questions went to Bobby Jindal (on whether he was hurting the GOP by attacking Trump); Rick Santorum (on if Jindal was right to attack Trump); Lindsey Graham (on why Trump is ahead of Graham in Graham's home state of South Carolina); and George Pataki (on if he would support Trump, should Trump win the party's nomination).
Pataki even called CNN out for the Trump centric questions of the candidates.
Twitter also chimed in on CNN's line of questioning:
"These questions are making the Fox News debate questions look brilliant," said veteran political analyst Stuart Rothenberg on Twitter, referring to the first GOP debate hosted by Fox in August.
The Washington Post's Dave Weigel also mocked the questioning. "'You said on Twitter that you would not support Donald Trump,' said the moderator to a candidate for leader of the free world," he sniped.
"But when will they bring up Trump in this debate?" said a sarcastic tweet by James Pindell of the Boston Globe.
CNN has obsessed on Trump ever since he announced in mid-June that he was running for the White House.
The network has done more than 2000 stories on Trump since June 16th.