CNN Hosts Liberal Journalist Carole Simpson, Who Gives Edge to Obama In Tuesday's Debate

Liberal journalist Carole Simpson is at it again. The former debate moderator returned to CNN and cast doubt on Mitt Romney's expectations while building up President Obama's, on Monday.

"I would have to say he [Obama] would have the edge in this debate," she mused. "One of Mitt Romney's problems throughout the campaign season has been does he relate to ordinary people?" she asked before adding "I'm not sure he can."

Two weeks ago Simpson laughed at Romney's lack of humor on-air and praised Obama as "much more comfortable in his own skin." Of course, she sort of admitted to being wrong when on Monday she called Obama "somnolent" in that debate.

"These are ordinary people. I think Obama does relate to them well and that he, like Bill Clinton, his new best buddy, is going to be walking up to the people and, you know, touching them and relating to them well. It will be interesting to see if Romney can pull that off and I'm not sure he can," Simpson explained.

Interestingly enough, she re-circulated concerns that CNN's Candy Crowley, who will moderate Tuesday's presidential debate, might go rogue. "I am very concerned about Candy right now because the plot has thickened. There are rumors that the political campaigns and the Commission on Presidential Debates is afraid she's going to veer from the guidelines that have been set down for how this debate should be going."

Anchor Brooke Baldwin shot that down before changing the subject. "She's absolutely following the rules and she will do a phenomenal job at it, but she'll be allowing the members of the audience to ask the questions and then as you point out, if necessary, she'll provide the follow-up."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on Newsroom on October 15 at 2:46 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[2:46]

CAROLE SIMPSON: I am – I am very concerned about Candy right now because the plot has thickened. There are rumors that the political campaigns and the Commission on Presidential Debates is afraid she's going to veer from the guidelines that have been set down for how this debate should be going.

BROOKE BALDWIN: But Carole, let me just put those rumors to rest and just say that this is the exact same debate format as, you know, you faced, Tom Brokaw, Charlie Gibson, the town hall where the question comes from the audience, and the moderator has the follow-up.

SIMPSON: Has a follow-up, only if necessary. I was told only if it needs clarification, only if it needs a follow-up. So a lot of times the people themselves would follow-up, and I didn't have to. But Candy gets a chance to pick the questions, I understand, and that she can ask them in the order in which she likes. But there is this rumor that she is planning to ask some of her own questions, because she's not allowed to under this format.

BALDWIN: From what I understand that is not – that is not at all the case. And, guys correct me if I'm incorrect, but, no, I'm correct in saying that no she's not – she is going along with the town hall -- that's correct. She's absolutely following the rules and she will do a phenomenal job at it, but she'll be allowing the members of the audience to ask the questions and then as you point out, if necessary, she'll provide the follow-up.

Let me pivot, though, Carole, because I want to ask about the candidates, specifically, with a town hall format, as you saw firsthand, you know, it can be more conducive to a certain candidate. A lot of people are saying, this may be -- even though we saw him falter and not win that original debate, this is Barack Obama's wheel house.

SIMPSON: He was somnolent, our President was, during that other debate, but I would have to say he would have the edge in this debate. One of Mitt Romney's problems throughout the campaign season has been does he relate to ordinary people? These are ordinary people. I think Obama does relate to them well and that he, like Bill Clinton, his new best buddy, is going to be walking up to the people and, you know, touching them and relating to them well. It will be interesting to see if Romney can pull that off and I'm not sure he can.

BALDWIN: He was a strong – it was a strong first debate for him, and I think there is a lot of pressure on the President and perhaps on Mitt Romney as well to bring it exactly like he did the last time, but this time talking to the Americans in that audience.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014