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Presidential Debate moderator Candy Crowley rubbed me, and apparently many others, the wrong way last night during the Debate. As I have come to understand it, the role of a moderator is to ask questions, keep the discussion moving, and keep the candidates within the allotted time to speak. According to the AP, my assumptions are pretty accurate:
Crowley’s role as moderator had also been a subject of discussion before the debate even started. An agreement between the candidates about the debate circulated online, where it stated that the moderator would not be allowed to ask follow-up questions, or play any role other than to introduce questions and enforce time limits.
Then what the hell was Monster Crowley’s problem? She did follow up with secondary questions. “What about long-term unemployed?” she asked following a more general question about the plummeting American employment rate. Topical, yes, but secondary nonetheless. It’s safe to assume the question was an improvisation. The biggest flagrant foul, however, was delivered by Candy during the discussion of Libya and the terroristic attacks. The issue was brought up about the promptness of Obama’s declaration that the killings were terrorism related.
Crowley had a significant moment when she corrected Romney’s assertion that it took Obama days to call the attack on the Benghazi consulate an act of terror. Obama called the incident an “act of terror” during his remarks on September 12, just one day after Ambassador Chris Stevens and three additional Americans were killed.
Obama interjected, telling the Republican presidential candidate to “get the transcript.” When the governor doubled down on his charge, Crowley corrected him, saying the president “‘did in fact’ call the attack an act of terror.
“Can you say that a little louder?” Obama asked.
Thanks for interjecting, Candy. The two presidential candidates on the floor surely needed your affirmation to continue the discussion. But was she even accurate? Technically speaking, she was. The words “acts of terror” did leave Obama’s lips in the White House Rose Garden on September 12 following the attacks.
Here is Obama’s quote on that day:
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”
It appears he uses the term rather generically, and not as a declaration as he and Candy imposed on the Debate viewers. To even further illustrate how out-of-line and inept Crowley’s interjection was, Obama actually backtracked after his Rose Garden speech and many times admitted that the attacks were a response to a YouTube video during the next 14 days. A mob-like response to a YouTube video is a far cry from a premeditated terrorist attack.
Crowley appeared on CNN after the Debate to clarify the fact check debacle:
“I just think he picked the wrong word.” You THINK? You’re not supposed to do any thinking, Candy. We tuned in to see what the presidential candidates think about certain shit. Zero casual voters even knew who the hell you were 24 hours ago. Thanks for steering many stupid, shallow-minded, voting-eligible Americans off track with your misplaced, unsolicited, half-assed fact check.