GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has put forward an interesting debate suggestion: he and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, should have a debate without a moderator.
Trump made the suggestion in a Monday interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, basing it off the criticism NBC's Matt Lauer drew for supposedly being too tough on Clinton. Via the New York Post:
“The fact is they are gaming the system,” Trump said of the criticism of Lauer, “and I think maybe we should have no moderator. Let Hillary and I (sic) sit there and just debate. I think the system is being rigged so it’s going to be a very unfair debate.”
He added, “I can see it happening right now because everybody was saying he was soft on Trump and now the new person is going to try and be really hard on Trump just to show the establishment what he can do. I think it’s very unfair what they are doing."
Trump also defended Lauer as a "professional" who is being "treated unfairly."
The real estate mogul has a point. One of the more infamous moments of the 2012 presidential occurred when moderator Candy Crowley injected herself into the debate with President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as she "fact-checked" Romney by saying that Obama had initially called the Benghazi attacks an "act of terror." Crowley was incorrect on this, but it had the insidious effect of silencing Romney on the issue, and he didn't talk about Benghazi much after that.
There was also Martha Raddatz–who had invited Obama to her wedding–moderating the vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, frequently cutting off Ryan's answers and giving more time to the buffoonish Biden, who would laugh maniacally and interrupt Ryan throughout the debate.
The scheduled debate moderators are a cabal of leftists: NBC's Lester Holt, CBS News' Elaine Quijano, Raddatz and CNN's Anderson Cooper and Fox News's Chris Wallace. Between their leftist bias and the extra motivation to be hard on Trump and soft on Clinton after the criticism Lauer received, it's easy to see why Trump would want a debate without a moderator.
"Let Hillary and I (sic) sit there and just debate."
It's not a new concept, as a debate without a moderator could be very similar to the Lincoln-Douglas debates: all that's needed is a timekeeper as the spotlight focuses solely on Trump and Clinton to be able to debate and present their ideas to the American people without the interference of a moderator attempting to turn him or herself into the story.