MSNBC: Clinton Campaign ‘Working the Refs’ Ahead of Debates

Filling in for host Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC’s 12 p.m. ET hour on Thursday, Peter Alexander worried that Donald Trump only had a “low bar” to surpass in the upcoming debates: “Do they [the Clinton campaign] have real concerns...that the bar has been set so low for Donald Trump, in effect, that clearing that bar of acceptability is not much of a challenge? How do they combat that in some way?”

Correspondent Kelly O’Donnell parroted complaints of supposed media bias against the Democratic nominee: “That is one of their sharpest criticisms of what they anticipate. They say that he gets one dimensional questions, she gets complicated questions based on all of the policies and all of the substance that they think she brings to the table.”

O’Donnell then declared: “So they're trying to sort of work the refs ahead of time to say they want questions to show some parity and to not sort of go soft on Donald Trump or be, in a way, letting him own that moment.”

Tell the Truth 2016

<<< Please consider helping NewsBusters financially with your tax-deductible contribution today >>>

<<< Thank you for your support! >>>

The Clinton campaign launched its effort to “work the refs” immediately following the former Secretary of State’s poor performance in NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum. A Media Research Center study released on Thursday detailed how members of the press have aided the Democratic contender in demanding debate moderators be tougher on Trump.

Here is a transcript of the September 22 exchange between Alexander and O’Donnell:

12:19 PM ET

(...)

PETER ALEXANDER:  Do they [the Clinton campaign] have real concerns – obviously, this has been one of the narratives that we've spoken about in general – that the bar has been set so low for Donald Trump, in effect, that clearing that bar of acceptability is not much of a challenge? How do they combat that in some way?

KELLY O’DONNELL: That is one of their sharpest criticisms of what they anticipate. They say that he gets one dimensional questions, she gets complicated questions based on all of the policies and all of the substance that they think she brings to the table. So they're trying to sort of work the refs ahead of time to say they want questions to show some parity and to not sort of go soft on Donald Trump or be, in a way, letting him own that moment. So they are definitely talking about that now.

(...)

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Video Peter Alexander Kelly O'Donnell Hillary Clinton Donald Trump

Sponsored Links