U.S. President Barack Obama laughed at Republican presidential candidates’ claim that they could handle Russian President Vladimir Putin. He wondered how the Republican could manage Putin when they could not deal with CNBC moderators from the debate last week.

The U.S. president was speaking at a fundraising event for Democrats at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. He mocked Republican candidates on their ability to deal with international powers like Russia and China.  

"And then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators,” Obama the Democratic audience who cheered at his comment. “If you can’t handle those guys, then I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”

Obama went on making fun of Republicans as he called them “glum” and “frustrated.” "According to them, everything was really good in 2008, when we were going through the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes," he said. "This, apparently, was the golden age that I messed up."

The Monday fundraising event was attended by around 1,300 donors who paid between $500 and $10,000 a pop, AP reported.

Republican candidates like Ben Carson and Donald Trump criticized the CNBC moderators for not asking relevant questions. Trump said he would negotiate his terms directly with TV executives in future.

Television executives, however, do not seem to be interested in changing the schedule which has been decided months back.

“Do you want Ben Carson deciding who your moderators are? The answer is no,” the Washington Post quoted an unnamed executive as saying. “Do you want Bobby Jindal’s campaign dictating how the debates will be run when Bobby Jindal may not even be in the race much longer?”