There was simultaneous crowing and cringing on Thursday. Employees who spoke on condition of anonymity for this story wished for a “do-over” and pointed fingers of blame for the chaotic production. Some pointed all the way up to CNBC president Mark Hoffman, who was also aboard Wednesday night’s charter.

“Everyone feels pretty embarrassed,” one veteran staffer said.

But some of the same employees also said they were proud that the moderators had pointedly challenged the GOP candidates and potentially changed the course of the presidential race.

They wondered aloud: Will people remember the gripes about Quintanilla, Quick and John Harwood? Will they remember the audience’s boos and the analysts’ comments that CNBC “lost control” of the debate?