Republicans believe in equality of opportunity, not of outcome. They believe the successful should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors, while the less prosperous should look on with admiration instead of envy. They swear by these truths — right up until that moment in their failing presidential campaigns when they realize their greenroom for the next debate is basically a toilet stall.
One day before the GOP candidates square off at the Coors Events Center in Boulder*, Republican National Committee officials gave them a walk-through of the debate site, Politico reports. After a brief look at the stage, the campaigns got to preview their greenrooms and, apparently, each others’.
Current front-runner Donald Trump was treated to a spacious den, full of plush chairs and a flat-screen TV. Establishment darling Marco Rubio was given, what looked to one Rand Paul adviser, like his own theater. Ascendant outsider Carly Fiorina was provided a room with a Jacuzzi.
Senator Rand Paul, who was celebrated on the cover of Time not so long ago, was shown to what looks like a dimly lit walk-in closet, dominated by a toilet stall. New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s room was reportedly, also, mostly toilet. Apparently, the RNC wished to provide the debate’s lowest-polling candidates with a visual representation of where their lofty ambitions had landed them.
According to Politico, after the walk-through ended, RNC officials tried to lead a discussion with campaign representatives about plans for the fourth debate. But those talks kept getting derailed by complaints from Christie and Paul advisers about the indignity of their work spaces:
“This is ridiculous,” fumed Christie’s campaign manager, Ken McKay. “We’re in a restroom.”
Paul’s team also piped in, with one adviser, Chris LaCivita, demanding that something be done to remedy the situation.
“Was there any advance done on the campaign work spaces?” he asked. “Because it sure as hell doesn’t seem like it.”
Judging from Chris LaCivita’s Twitter, the RNC eventually gave in to this culture of entitlement and envy and gave Paul a non-bathroom work space, complete with some free cans of Pepsi.
* An earlier version of this post said the debate was taking place in Denver, not Boulder. Apologies to Boulder for the mix-up.