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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Debate Comission: Candy Crowley Was A Mistake (Ya' Think?)

In a lecture to Las Vegas conservatives, Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, surprised the audience by admitting the selection of CNN's Candy Crowley to moderate the Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney (at Hofstra) had been a "mistake."
Fahrenkopf said he was proud of his role in helping to pick the debate moderators, but then added, shockingly I thought: “We made one mistake this time: Her name is Candy,” a reference to Candy Crowley of CNN, who absorbed hosannas from the left and brickbats from the right after she corrected Mitt Romney during the second debate.
Candy Crowley was more than a moderator at the Hofstra town hall-type debate, she was an active participant not allowing Romney to answer Obama’s attacks, even fact-checking the GOP candidate (using incorrect facts).

The most controversial part of the debate began with Romney’s response to Obama’s answer to a Libya question:

ROMNEY: Yeah, I -- I certainly do. I certainly do. I -- I think it's interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.

OBAMA:Please proceed.

ROMNEY: Is that what you're saying?

OBAMA:Please proceed, Governor.

ROMNEY: I -- I -- I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA:Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It -- he did in fact, sir. So let me -- let me call it an act of terrorism -- (inaudible) 

OBAMA:Can you say that a little louder, Candy? (Laughter, applause.)

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It did as well take -- it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.

 This one exchange was the main topic by the spin-meisters I spoke to  after the debate.

John Sununu, Romney surrogate and form NH Governor said, “the moderator and the President were dead wrong.

“The President threw the world out in his statement at the Rose Garden but never said it was an act of terrorism.  And two weeks afterwards the President said, not in a news conference, not in a passing comment but went to the UN and at the UN, six times blamed it on the video. It was the most dishonest statement I have ever heard by a president in a presidential debate.”

I asked him about the Crowley interruption:

Candy was wrong and Candy had no business doing that and she didn’t even keep the time right.”
The day after the terror attack in Benghazi, President Obama gave a Rose Garden Speech of 801 words. He mentioned the word terror once near the end of his speech but not in reference to Benghazi.

During that brief statement, President Obama referred to Benghazi as; An attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi; this outrageous and shocking attack; attack; terrible act. Obama called the people who perpetuated the attack “the killers who attacked our people.” He did not call them terrorists.

In the fourth paragraph of that Rose Garden speech, the alluded to the anti-Muslim video. Obama knew at the time (and we know now) that video had nothing to do with the attack:

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Six paragraphs later in the same speech, Obama used the “T” word in a general way seemingly attached to 9/11/01
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.
Crowley was supposed to be an impartial moderator instead she was an advocate for her political views. A strong debating point that could have thrown Obama off his game, instead threw the challenger for a loop.

Then there was that "Other" debate incident. @hen I returned to my MacBook after listening to the pre-debate spin, this is what I saw on my desktop.

It was a bit unsettling to find that the debate moderator was trying to share her MacBook with me, especially one who had a stripper-name like Candy Crowley.
 Hopefully mistakes like this one will not be repeated in 2016

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