Here’s a little blast from the past for you. Well, maybe not the distant past but think back to October, 2012 during the height of the Presidential Debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney. During the second debate it appeared that moderator Candy Crowley, of CNN, tossed a “flag” on the statement from Romney that the President never actually called the Benghazi attacks “terrorism.” Crowley later admitted she was incorrect and should not have attempted to point this out during the debate.
Now a co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) says choosing Candy Crowley was a mistake, report from Fox News:
As reported by longtime Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston, Fahrenkopf voiced regret about one decision he helped make as co-chairman of the debate commission.
“We made one mistake this time: Her name is Candy,” he said.
The comment was a reference to Crowley’s controversial performance in October. In the final half-hour of the debate, Crowley interjected after Romney questioned whether Obama had called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” rather than “spontaneous” violence that grew out of a protest against an anti-Islam video.
“He did in fact, sir … call it an act of terror,” Crowley told Romney.
Obama, evidently pleased with the moderator’s comment, asked: “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”
Amid criticism from conservatives, Crowley later conceded on CNN that Romney was “right in the main” but “picked the wrong word.”
This is a fairly major statement since the CPD usually stands by moderators and defers to their professional judgment on how to referee the debate.
Will this impact moderator selection in 2016 given the controversy? Another possibility is perhaps the CPD will simply give less deference to the moderator. Does this speak to the partisan misgivings about picking members of the media to moderate debates?