CNN's Moderator Candy Crowley: A Political News Pro, But Still Liberal in the Media-Elite Mold

Affirmative-action lovers were thrilled that CNN's Candy Crowley would be the first female to moderate a presidential debate since Carole Simpson's sneering turn in 1992. Crowley deserves the opportunity after being in the field of political news for decades, and is the closest thing the current crop of moderators has to a Tim Russert type in being able to question firmly both sides of the aisle.

However, Crowley still fits within the CNN media-elite mold of liberalism, and not just with her unfortunate channeling of "some Republicans" on Saturday who anonymously felt the Paul Ryan pick "looks a little bit like some sort of ticket death wish." Below are a list of some of Crowley's more liberal moments on the CNN airwaves:


“Usually you kind of give the President a pass on leaking confidential stuff.” – CNN’s Candy Crowley on Obama’s self-promoting national security leaks, June 10, 2012 State of the Union.

"Let me talk to you a little about the swing state of Virginia, and I want to show our viewers your unemployment rate which has basically stayed two to three points below the national unemployment rate. It’s a success story really. Okay? You like this. I understand that. But, but, even as you embrace it as a Republican governor, does it not make it difficult for Mitt Romney, who has the same problem in other swing states, to come in and say, 'The economy is terrible and, you know, you need to elect a new president?' Because Virginia is doing very well under President Obama. – CNN’s Candy Crowley to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, June 3, 2012 State of the Union.

“Do you have a problem with being inclusive, because most people do look at Republicans going ‘They’re a conservative bunch of white guys who want to protect Big Oil.’ And now you’re even hearing Republicans saying, ‘It’s not big enough. We haven’t opened up the tent door.’” – CNN’s Candy Crowley touting an Arnold Schwarzenegger op-ed to Newt Gingrich, May 6, 2012 State of the Union.

"We have a poll where the majority of Americans said you all need to compromise on this debt ceiling, you all need to raise the debt ceiling, and it out to be -- the deal ought to include a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. You are opposed to both raising the debt ceiling and that kind of compromise. So doesn't that put you outside the mainstream?" – CNN’s Candy Crowley to Rep. Michele Bachmann, August 14, 2011 State of the Union.

"There's that term, 'penny wise and pound foolish.' Would you worry that, by cutting off those services, people...would have sicker babies, or certain people...wouldn't have HIV testing...and that would just cost us more?" – CNN’s Candy Crowley questioning Rep. Steve King on Planned Parenthood subsidies while guest-hosting The Situation Room on February 18, 2011.

"So let's get down to the basic question, who's going to get hurt in this budget?...So you have said in an editorial you wrote that the budget is an expression of our values and aspirations. So if I look at this what we call discretionary spending, things we don't have to spend on, you want to cut back community development block programs. That creates jobs in communities; it helps them with infrastructure, that kind of thing. Home heating assistance; education, as you just mentioned. You're also going to do -- the Great Lakes Restoration Fund Initiative is getting a pretty healthy cut in what they get from the feds, eight states involved, in trying to keep the Great Lakes economically viable. What does that say about our values and aspirations?: – CNN’s Candy Crowley pressing Obama budget director Jack Lew from the left on State of the Union, February 13, 2011.

“It's probably less of a phony issue than a passe issue. This might have had some resonance had he done it early on, and he had a whole, you know, springtime to begin to, you know, chip away. The problem is, that the economy just came down on him.” – CNN’s Candy Crowley after the third presidential debate raised the issue of Obama’s friendship with radical Sixties bomber Bill Ayers, October 15, 2008.

"If you raised more than a quarter billion dollars in the primary season, would you limit yourself to $85 million in the fall campaign? Duh!" – CNN’s Candy Crowley’s spin when Obama decided to break his promise to abide by campaign spending limits to accept public financing, June 19, 2008.

"I recall standing out in very chilly Springfield, Illinois, when Barack Obama announced. And a lot of people I talked to there said, 'Oh, you're an Obama supporter?' I said no, but you know, this might be history. I wanted to bring my kid. Same with Hillary Clinton. I brought my daughter, you know, because I think this might be history." – CNN’s Candy Crowley on American Morning, February 1, 2008.

"This is a man [John Kerry] who went and served his country. Do you feel as though you're making fun of him?...One of the things that the criticism of this is, that there are, you know, kids over in Iraq right now, some of them getting Purple Hearts. Is this defaming of them?"
-- CNN's Candy Crowley to a GOP delegate mocking Sen. John Kerry’s war injuries by wearing a band-aid with a purple heart on it, August 30, 2004.

"It is good old-fashioned ticket balance: a Northeastern Democrat on the liberal side, a Southern Democrat on the moderate side."
-- CNN's Candy Crowley on American Morning, July 6, 2004. Edwards ACU?

“He is the last of the liberal lions, roaring on behalf of the voiceless....The 30-year-old with nothing but a name to run on turned 70 as one of the premier legislators of the 20th century....He has championed civil rights, pushed for improved education and better health care. His name is on hundreds, probably thousands, of bills....He is an undiluted, undeterrable liberal, but a closet pragmatist. He prefers half a loaf to none, something to nothing, results over rhetoric.”
– CNN’s Candy Crowley, noting the 70th birthday of Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, on the February 22, 2002 Inside Politics.

"You and others who are for abortion rights in the Republican Party were frozen out of the platform. What does that say, if anything, about compassionate conservatism and the broad tent?"
-- CNN's Candy Crowley to New York Governor George Pataki, July 31, 2000 daytime coverage of the GOP convention.

"Somewhat north and far to the right of George Bush, there was this presidential primary cookout put together by a coalition of conservative groups who are feeling a little ignored."
-- CNN's Candy Crowley at a New Hampshire cookout featuring Sen. Bob Smith, July 4, 1999 The World Today.

"This is the first time at least in some time where it is perceived that the Democrats are actually fighting for middle America, the family. I'm wondering if you think, that with the various permutations that families have nowadays, if the Republicans are actually shoving away those who don't have mother, father, kids and don't do it `the right way?'"
-- CNN reporter Candy Crowley to Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, August 19, 1992.

Anchor Susan Rook:  "If Senate Democrats get their way, no one in the United States will ever again have to worry about being able to afford adequate medical care..."
Reporter Candy Crowley: "...Still, a variety of conflicting interests in the health care system give Senate Democrats an A for effort and kudos for at least providing a jumping off point."
-- CNN World News, June 5, 1991.

"The Brennan departure has also caused concern about the survivability of affirmative action programs. In civil rights circles, there is fear that a Supreme Court, with a philosophical scale weighted to the right, will no longer be a force for social change...Also seen at risk in a court without Brennan, the limits of individual freedom."
-- CNN reporter Candy Crowley on PrimeNews, July 21, 1990.

"Spring-like temperatures on a Fall day made for a carnival-like atmosphere, but an occasional chilly breeze forewarned that winter is on the way and three million Americans have no place to call home."
-- Candy Crowley on CNN PrimeNews, October 7, 1989.

"Experts say Mr. Bush's hard line [on taxes] has led investors to cast an early vote of no confidence in the new President's willingness to sop up American red ink."
-- Reporter Candy Crowley, CNN PrimeNews, November 13, 1988.

"If Attorney General Ed Meese were not under investigation for alleged unethical behavior, if Reagan intimate Mike Deaver had not been convicted of perjury, if former Reaganite Lyn Nofziger had not been convicted for ethical violations, would House Speaker Jim Wright now be the subject of a preliminary House investigation into some of his activities? A lot of Wright supporters say no, and some experts agree."
-- Reporter Candy Crowley, CNN PrimeNews, June 11, 1988.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis