Debates

By Noel Sheppard | October 17, 2012 | 8:31 AM EDT

Mitt Romney senior adviser John Sununu had another contentious encounter with CNN's Soledad O'Brien Wednesday.

At the conclusion of their lengthy Starting Point segment about Tuesday's presidential debate, O'Brien thanked her guest for coming with Sununu responding, "It's always good to come on the groupie channel" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Brad Wilmouth | October 17, 2012 | 8:03 AM EDT

During Tuesday's post-debate coverage on CNN, as the panel discussed moderator Candy Crowley giving cover to President Obama's attempt to defend his initial flawed response to the Benghazi terrorist attack, CNN correspondent John King blamed former Governor Mitt Romney for giving Crowley the opening to undermine the GOP candidate's criticism of Obama for taking so long to recognize that the attack was a premeditated act of terrorism.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m., CNN anchor Anderson Cooper had raised the subject as he defended Romney's reasoning and suggested that Obama was taking himself out of context to cover his own tracks. Cooper:

By Matt Vespa | October 17, 2012 | 2:42 AM EDT

A little over a half-hour before the debate, Matthews went on a tirade against the pro-life movement. His fury mostly centered on Rep. Paul Ryan, whose pro-life views, according to Matthews are akin to Sharia law that is practiced and advocated by radical Islamists.  He also sounded the alarms that the Republican ticket may want to “operate [the United States] under a religious theory.”  After exposing the theocratic conspiracy of the Republicans and the Sharia enemies within – Matthews came off as utterly unhinged.

By Ryan Robertson | October 17, 2012 | 2:31 AM EDT

Debate moderator Candy Crowley admitted on CNN's Debate Night in America that Governor Romney was “right in the main” but “picked the wrong word” on the Obama administration’s immediate response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

Immediately following the second presidential debate, Crowley was repeatedly asked for her thoughts on what she had just witnessed first-hand at Hofstra University. On everyone's mind was the foreign policy discussion between the two candidates, in which Crowley defended the president for what he said in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12 about the Benghazi consulate attack that occurred the day before. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]

By Matt Vespa | October 17, 2012 | 1:52 AM EDT

At the conclusion of the second presidential debate on October 16, Chris Matthews could hardly control himself when he confidently declared that President Obama "clearly" won the debate.  In fact, he proclaimed that President Obama had "punched Romney hard"during their ninety-minutes showdown.  It sure sounds like the rhetoric of a man who stated that "all that came before" in American history –"led to" Obama.

By Matthew Balan | October 17, 2012 | 1:09 AM EDT

Minutes after the second presidential debate ended on Tuesday, ABC pundits Matthew Dowd and Donna Brazile brushed off the three-plus minute advantage of speaking time President Obama had over Mitt Romney under CNN's Candy Crowley's moderation. Dowd asserted that this imbalance would lead to "conservatives and Republicans attacking Candy Crowley, and when that happens, that is a sure sign that President Obama won this."

Brazile seconded this taunt: "When Republicans lose debates, they always find something wrong with the moderator or the referee." The two ABC panelists didn't give such an assessment after the first debate on October 3, even though liberals, such as Howard Fineman, attacked moderator Jim Lehrer.

By Matthew Sheffield | October 17, 2012 | 12:51 AM EDT

After embarrassing herself with her incompetently biased attempt to “fact check” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley has already began trying to save her shattered credibility. In a panel discussion afterward, a fast-talking Crowley tried to spin away her offensive conduct by admitting that Romney was indeed correct in casting blame on the Obama Administration for falsely blaming an anti-Islamic video for attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“It was one of those moments, and I could even feel that here, you know, when you say something you’re not expecting,” Crowley insisted, admitting she simply couldn’t help herself from unprofessionally inserting herself into a heated dispute between presidential candidates.

By Matthew Sheffield | October 16, 2012 | 11:38 PM EDT

CNN correspondent and second presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley disgraced herself tonight, repeatedly intervening to save a floundering President Obama and showing why many Americans were rightfully suspicious of her ability to moderate a presidential debate fairly.

Her most outrageous act tonight was her incorrect seconding of Obama's statement that he declared the Libya terrorist attacks to be "terror." While Obama did indeed use the word, this is not what he meant by it. Instead, he was simply referring to "acts of terror." There was no mention of Al Qaeda or any of its affiliates with respect to the actual attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.

By Noel Sheppard | October 16, 2012 | 11:20 PM EDT

Conceivably the biggest moment in Tuesday's presidential debate was when moderator Candy Crowley injected herself into the discussion siding with Barack Obama on remarks he claimed he made in the Rose Garden following the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Long-time Democrat campaign strategist Joe Trippi said on Fox News shortly after the debate's conclusion that this looked like "the ref just threw the flag" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Ryan Robertson | October 16, 2012 | 10:03 PM EDT

After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the blame for the avoidable tragedy that occurred in Benghazi last month, one would think the media would be a little more critical of an administration that initially tried to cover it up with misinformation. While this sounds like a logical presumption, it hasn't been the case. Clinton was applauded for "falling on her sword" and taking responsibility for failing to protect those who were killed in the attack on the consulate.

MSNBC's Martin Bashir and his contributors didn't seem to think an apology was necessary however, blaming the Republicans in Congress for imposing cuts on foreign aid and embassy protection instead. In other words, it was all their fault and the Romney campaign has no right bringing it up. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]

By NB Staff | October 16, 2012 | 7:16 PM EDT

Will you be tuning in to the second presidential debate tonight? If so, please join fellow NewsBusters readers for a running commentary and discussion of the contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The debate starts at 9:00 PM Eastern time. We will also be featuring a livestream video of the debate inside this posting

Note: You will need a browser that has Flash to participate in the chat or to watch the video.

By Matt Hadro | October 16, 2012 | 6:23 PM EDT

Former debate moderator (and liberal journalist) Carole Simpson has been making the media rounds before Tuesday's presidential debate, giving President Obama the edge and implying that the standards for debate moderators are sexist. She continued that on Tuesday's Starting Point.

She gave Obama the town hall-style debate advantage as a  "people person" and "touchy-feely." In contrast, she cited criticism of Romney "that he doesn't relate to ordinary people."