The Obama and Romney camps are worried that their plans for Tuesday’s town hall debate will be undone by the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley.
Reports are circulating that Crowley has plans to step out of her agreed upon role of merely facilitating the discussion and make a comment of her own or even pose a question. Time magazine’s Mark Halperin reports
that the terms of engagement were agreed upon in October between the candidates.
Under that memorandum, signed by lawyers for the two campaigns, the questions come from the audience and after initial answers Crowley is to help push an additional discussion.
Time reported that the memo stated: “In managing the two-minute comment periods, the moderator will not rephrase the question or open a new topic . . . The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate or otherwise intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments during the two-minute response period.”
However, Crowley, who is not a party to the agreement, has made comments she may exceed the charter, explaining, “Once the table is kind of set by the town-hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?’”
The campaigns have complained to the Commission on Presidential Debates and the commission has said it would contact Crowley about her role in the debate, Time reported.
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