As predicted, both of Sunday’s debate moderators let their leftist bias seep through. Both Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC were more hostile to Donald Trump in their line of questioning and strict in enforcing time limits in comparison to Hillary Clinton.
Below are the moderators’ five worst moments from Sunday’s presidential debate.
1. Raddatz actually argued with Trump about Syria. It began when Trump made the rather startling admission that he disagreed with his running mate, Mike Pence, on how to handle Syria. Raddatz then followed up by asking him about Aleppo:
RADDATZ: What do you think will happen if Aleppo falls?
TRUMP: I think Aleppo is a disaster, humanitarian-wise.
RADDATZ: What do you think will happen if it falls?
TRUMP: I think that it basically has fallen. OK? It basically has fallen. Let me tell you something. You take a look at Mosul. The biggest problem I have with the stupidity of our foreign policy, we have Mosul. They think a lot of the ISIS leaders are in Mosul. So we have announcements coming out of Washington and coming out of Iraq, we will be attacking Mosul in three weeks or four weeks.
Well, all of these bad leaders from ISIS are leaving Mosul. Why can’t they do it quietly? Why can’t they do the attack, make it a sneak attack, and after the attack is made, inform the American public that we’ve knocked out the leaders, we’ve had a tremendous success? People leave. Why do they have to say we’re going to be attacking Mosul within the next four to six weeks, which is what they’re saying? How stupid is our country?
Raddatz then couldn’t help herself and took on the role of his political opponent:
RADDATZ: There are sometimes reasons the military does that. Psychological warfare.
TRUMP: I can’t think of any. I can’t think of any. And I’m pretty good at it.
RADDATZ: It might be to help get civilians out.
TRUMP: And we have General Flynn. And we have — look, I have 200 generals and admirals who endorsed me. I have 21 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients who endorsed me. We talk about it all the time. They understand, why can’t they do something secretively, where they go in and they knock out the leadership? How — why would these people stay there? I’ve been reading now…
While Trump is speaking incoherently about Syria, it’s not the role of the moderator to actually argue with a candidate, and that’s what Raddatz did. She wasn’t even asking the questions as possible counter-arguments, she actually played the role of Clinton and made flat-out statements to counter Trump.
2. Cooper grilled Trump on possible sexual assault allegations, setting up a new line of attack for the media to sue. As Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro notes, Cooper pressed Trump on if he “kiss[ed] women without consent or grope[d] women without consent” until Trump finally issued a denial about it. Shapiro points out that Cooper had asked Trump about this in order to set “Trump up for a fall.”
“That will be the story of the week as Democrats and the media trot out tape after tape, woman after woman,” Shapiro predicted.
Shapiro was correct, as new sexual assault allegations against Trump emerged in a USA Today report.
The allegations may have surfaced regardless, but Cooper set the table for them with his questioning and acted as Clinton’s attack dog by doing so.
3. The moderators clearly wanted to stay away from Clinton’s email scandal as much as possible. Clinton’s emails weren’t brought up until Trump pivoted from birtherism to the Democratic National Committee’s bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to the emails. Raddatz, to her credit, did ask a follow up question on the emails to Clinton, but after Clinton lied her through it, Raddatz wanted to talk about other topics. Before she could, Trump continued to go after Clinton for her emails, even as Raddatz and Cooper each said “We’re going to move on” and “We have to move on” as Trump criticized her.
Eventually, this exchange happened:
TRUMP: I’d like to know, Anderson, why aren’t you bringing up the e-mails? I’d like to know. Why aren’t you bringing…
COOPER: We brought up the e-mails.
TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. It hasn’t. And it hasn’t been finished at all.
COOPER: Ken Karpowicz has a question.
TRUMP: It’s nice to — one on three.
Trump is certainly correct on that last point, especially since the emails weren’t brought up until Trump mentioned them, and the moderators left a lot of Clinton’s lies on the subject to stand without further questioning.
4. Cooper asked Trump if he has “the discipline of a good leader” and then proceeded to ask Clinton if Trump has “the discipline to be a good leader.” Cooper did not ask either candidate if Clinton has “the discipline of a good leader,” a blatant example of leftist bias.
5. Both moderators fact-checked Trump in real time. They did not do that with Clinton. For instance, when Trump mentioned his opposition to the Iraq War, Raddatz interjected, “There’s been lots of fact-checking on that” and then tried to pivot to another question before Trump complained about Clinton going over her allotted time. Additionally, when Trump hammered Clinton for her “deplorables” comment, Cooper quickly tried to cover for Clinton by saying, “She said some of them are irredeemable.”
Meanwhile, Clinton lied through her teeth throughout the debate, and the moderators did not hold her to the same standard as they did Trump, a truly disgraceful example of leftist bias from both moderators.
Quotes above from a transcript provided by Fortune.