Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly grilled Texas Senator Ted Cruz about his recent proposal that future debate moderators be Republicans and to exclude people who have never shown interest in their politics.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) November 4, 2015
When asked if he would sign on the letter that outlines their debate demands on networks when hosting a Republican debate, Cruz said he is not planning on signing onto Ben Ginsberg’s letter, but proposed a new rule instead.
“The one rule change that I think the RNC outta think about is saying that if you have never in your life voted in a Republican party primary that you shouldn’t be moderating a republican primary,” Cruz said reiterating a point he made on Fox News’ Hannity after their CNBC debate. The Texas senator wonders why Republican primary debates are moderated by liberal Democrats and told Fox News anchor Kelly that he did not think that makes any sense.
“Let me challenge you on that,” Kelly told Cruz. “Do you have any idea whether Bret Baier or Chris Wallace have ever voted in a Republican primary?” responded Kelly, who successfully moderated a Republican debate back in August.
Kelly explained that since people have no idea about Baier and Wallace’s political stand, it could mean disqualification of these journalists to anchor on future GOP debates based on Cruz’s plan. However Cruz admitted he could not be certain whether or not the three of them are “liberal Democrats,” but he pointed out that most mainstream journalists are.
Upon hearing his general impression about journalists, Kelly then asked the Senator if there was a need to prove their political stance to be able to moderate a GOP debate.
“Would we have to submit our voting records to you or some committee?” Kelly said adding that it would be impractical to undergo such process just to see which primary each journalist voted in.
Cruz responded that his suggestion is not complicated saying, “In a primary, don’t have liberals moderating.”
In an effort to maintain that they are fair despite their political views, Kelly mentioned Tim Russert was a Liberal, but was a much respected journalist for his fair treatment on political issues.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 3, 2015
The letter of demands that were the subject of Kelly and Cruz’s discussion was a list of requests for TV networks that host Republican debates. According to The Washington Post, the terms included in the list are “below 67 degrees on the debate stage; opening and closing statements; no yes/no questions without time to elaborate; pre-approval of graphics and bio information to be used on the broadcast, among others.”
On her news program, Kelly could not help but mock the debate proposal as she read the request/demands on national TV.
“Approval of any on-screen graphics aired during the debate — yeah, that’s gonna happen,” was the anchor’s sardonic remark.
“Can you imagine having to submit our graphics for approval to the candidates? Good luck with that,” Kelly asked Fox News Chris Stirewalt.
Stirewalt, disappointed and enraged by the fact their graphics are subject for candidates’ approval, said, “I can’t, and we won’t.”
The list of demands came after Republican campaigns voiced out their concerns about the Republican National Committee’s effort to discuss debate conditions with broadcasting networks at the meeting the Republicans held on Sunday in Virginia.
GOP candidate teams met Sunday night to discuss debate demands https://t.co/kH6DjwbcQa
— New York Post (@nypost) November 3, 2015
A representative from Donald Trump’s camp was present at the meeting but made it clear that he will be negotiating on his own. The media is now facing the possibility of dealing separately with the RNC and other campaigns.
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