Presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley from CNN had said before the debate that she planned on getting involved in steering the debate, sparking criticism from both campaigns that she was not planning on following the rules. Well, she lived up to the criticism, fact checking Mitt Romney in the middle of a statement he was making about President Obama’s handling of the assassination of the US Ambassador in Libya.
President Obama claimed that in his Rose Garden speech, the day after the attack in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three additional Americans, he labeled the attack an “Act of Terror.” Romney objected, saying that it took the Administration more than two weeks to label the attack a planned act of terror and not a spontaneous violent protest concerning an anti-Islam film that was posted to YouTube.
What President Obama had said in the Rose Garden on September 12, 2012 was:
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.”
Obama had interrupted Governor Romney and said that he in fact had called the attack an “act of terror.” When Romney said that he hadn’t, Crowley decided to interject saying:
“He did in fact call it an ‘act of terror.’ “
President Obama chimed in and said to Crowley:
“Can you say that a little louder?”
Crowley continued to interject by speaking to Governor Romney, saying of President Obama:
“It did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.”
Almost immediately, Twitter and those commenting on the debate exploded with praise and criticism. Those who supported President Obama were praising her courage and Romney’s supporters were aghast that Crowley would violate the agreed upon debate rules and interject what they say as with her opinions.
Crowley was immediately asked about the incident after the debate to which she responded:
“I knew that the president had said ‘act of terror’. I heard it … [Romney] picked that one wrong fact.”
Do you think it is appropriate for the moderator to be able to offer fact checking services during a live debate?