These Journalists Will Moderate The Presidential Debates

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Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday the 2016 presidential debate moderators.

NBC’s Lester Holt will moderate the first debate at Hofstra University on Sept. 26.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz will moderate the second debate in St. Louis, and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace will moderate the final debate in Las Vegas. The vice presidential debate moderator is Elaine Quijano of CBS News. The vice presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 4 in Farmville, Va.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are trying to earn enough support in the polls to join Trump and Clinton on stage.

Wallace responded to being named as a moderator Friday morning on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity. Personally, I’m excited. I’m also excited because I will be the first FOX reporter to ever moderate a presidential debate so I think that’s quite a statement for our news organization. How’d it come about? Well, they knew I was interested,” Wallace said.

“You kind of put the word out there to the debate commission, but you can’t lobby for it. You can’t do anything. They end up deciding it. There’s a really blue ribbon commission that the co-chairs of the commission are Frank J. Fahrenkopf, who is a former Republican National Committee chair, and Mike McCurry, former press secretary for Bill Clinton, and yesterday they called me up and they gave me the formal invitation, ‘Would you accept?’ and I said I would be honored and proud to accept.”

Both major party candidates posed issues to the commission. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is known for his attacks against debate moderators who he believes may be unfair to him and Hillary Clinton has cultured tight relationships with many high-profile journalists and anchors over the years, some of whom have connections to the Clinton Foundation.

“These journalists bring extensive experience to the job of moderating, and understand the importance of using expanded time periods effectively,” commission members Frank Fahrenkopf and Mike McCurry said of the moderators. “The formats chosen for this year’s debates are designed to build on the formats introduced in 2012, which focused big blocks of time on major domestic and foreign topics. We are grateful for their willingness to moderate, and confident that the public will learn more about the candidates and the issues as a result.”

The commission is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that organizes and sponsors the presidential debates.

Past debate moderator Candy Crowley found herself accused of bias against 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, during a back and forth about the terrorist attack in Benghazi.

Romney later said of the incident: “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.”

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