Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a harsh critique of CNN debate moderator Candy Crowley’s interference in his second debate with President Obama in 2012.
Crowley infamously butted in to an exchange between Romney and Obama regarding the Obama administration’s changing of the Benghazi talking points. Crowley’s assertion that Obama was right in the argument led to multiple rounds of applause in the studio audience — an agonizing moment that was featured prominently in the new behind-the-scenes Netflix documentary “MITT.”
Romney addressed Crowley’s debate performance in an interview Monday with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
“Well, I don’t think it’s the role of the moderator in a debate to insert themselves into the debate and to declare a winner or a loser on a particular point. And I must admit that at that stage, I was getting a little upset at Candy, because in a prior setting where I was to have had the last word, she decided that Barack Obama was to get the last word despite the rules that we had,” Romney said.
“So she obviously thought it was her job to play a more active role in the debate than was agreed upon by the two candidates, and I thought her jumping into the interaction I was having with the president was also a mistake on her part, and one I would have preferred to carry out between the two of us, because I was prepared to go after him for misrepresenting to the American people that the nature of the attack,” Romney said.
Romney is still skeptical of the Obama administration’s conduct after the Benghazi terrorist attack.
“You know, I think they have now come to the conclusion that in fact, it was organized in part by an affiliate of al Qaeda, which was very different than what they told the American people in the two weeks following the attack. And as to what happened on the night of the attack and what actions were taken, that’s just something we just don’t know the full story on, and I think people still wonder what happened there,” Romney said. “I don’t know that there’s a cover-up effort going on, but I do know that it’s something which I think deserves to be fully examined.”