But voters need to be careful what they wish for — if the alternative to CNBC's "gotcha" approach is a lot of softballs and candidates are allowed to give unchallenged recitations of their stump speeches, the result may be even less enlightening. "So, Republican Candidate No. 1, how much do you reject Democratic policies — a little, a lot or a googolplex?" No candidate ever attended a debate in order to reveal his or her flaws and inconsistencies; office seekers show up to broaden their appeal and gloss over their shortcomings. It's up to the questioners to dig beneath the surface, and if that gets awkward? Well, too bad. The public has a right to expect hard-nosed questioning.