MSNBC ‘Super Excited’ to Be Hosting First 2020 Democratic Debate

After news broke Thursday afternoon that the Democratic National Committee decided that the first primary debate of the 2020 presidential race would be held in June and hosted by NBC News, giddy MSNBC hosts went on air to express their excitement for the event. Given the softball treatment the network has routinely given Democratic candidates, DNC Chair Tom Perez even appeared on the liberal cable channel to express his enthusiasm.

“This just in, MSNBC along with NBC News and Telemundo will host the very first Democratic debate of the 2020 presidential cycle,” anchor Ali Velshi announced at the end of his 3:00 p.m. ET hour show on Thursday. The host added: “We’re looking forward to it.” Later that night, host Rachel Maddow gushed: “Well, tonight, the Democratic Party has announced that the first debate in the Democratic presidential primary for this year is going to be held in June and it’s going to be hosted by us.”

 

 

Moments later, she brought on Perez and thanked him for the DNC’s decision: “And I have to say, thank you for picking us to do the first debate. We are super excited about that for June.” Perez was equally joyous: “Well, I’ll tell you, it’s going to be unprecedented. I’m very excited as well.”

Noting that there would two debates over consecutive nights to accommodate the large field of Democratic contenders, Perez cheered that it was “going to enable the candidates to put their best food forward.” He further proclaimed: “This is what it’s all about. It’s about giving the candidates a stage to give their vision of America.”

To that end, the Democratic official was confident that NBC would help achieve that goal and boost the liberal politicians: “And what we want to do is make sure these debates give them an opportunity to talk about the issues....And I’m confident that the questioners from MSNBC and NBC and Telemundo are gonna give them that opportunity.”

On her 9:00 a.m. ET hour show Friday morning, anchor Stephanie Ruhle joined in Maddow’s celebration of the announcement: “Big, big news. NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo will host the first Democratic debate of the 2020 election....As part of the NBC family, I just have to say how excited we all are, or at least me personally.” The host even hoped to be tapped as a moderator: “And if my bosses are watching, hey, hey, I’m free in June. I’m just saying.”

During the Democrats’ 2016 primary contest, NBC was happy to lob questions from left, teeing up the candidates to promote their liberal agendas without challenge.

The Democrats are obviously expecting the same easy time from NBC moderators in June.

Here are excerpts of the excited February 14 and 15 programming announcements on MSNBC:

MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi
02/14/19
4:00 PM

ALI VELSHI: This just in, MSNBC along with NBC News and Telemundo will host the very first Democratic debate of the 2020 presidential cycle. The Democratic National Committee announcing today the first of many debates for many candidates, but we’ve got the first one right here on MSNBC in June. We’re looking forward to it.

(...)

The Rachel Maddow Show
02/14/19
9:29 PM

RACHEL MADDOW: Well, tonight, the Democratic Party has announced that the first debate in the Democratic presidential primary for this year is going to be held in June and it’s going to be hosted by us. By MSNBC and NBC and Telemundo. Details to come. But we’ve also a lot of brand-new information from the Democratic Party how they are going to try to organize a fair and tough debate schedule for what is shaping up to be a gigantic field.

(...)

9:32 PM

MADDOW: No system is perfect, no political competition is perfectly fair, but this is the Democrats’ hard-fought best effort for how they are going to try to give their nominating process the best shot at picking their best candidate this year. Joining us now is Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Chairman, thank you for being here.

TOM PEREZ: It’s always a pleasure to be with you, Rachel.

MADDOW: And I have to say, thank you for picking us to do the first debate. We are super excited about that for June.

PEREZ: Well, I’ll tell you, it’s going to be unprecedented. I’m very excited as well. We’ve never had a debate where you’ve had NBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, if someone wants to watch it live stream, that’ll be free as well. And having consecutive nights is going to enable the candidates to put their best food forward. This is what it’s all about. It’s about giving the candidates a stage to give their vision of America.

(...)

9:36 PM

PEREZ: I’ve had the privilege over the course of my career to work with probably three quarters of the folks who may end up being on the debate stage, they’re spectacular people. And what we want to do is make sure these debates give them an opportunity to talk about the issues. Our candidates aren’t going to be talking about hand size, they’re going to be talking about health care. And I’m confident that the questioners from MSNBC and NBC and Telemundo are gonna give them that opportunity. Because I love what we’re talking about. We’re talking about health care, we’re talking about how to address climate change.

(...)

MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle
02/15/19
9:25 AM

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Big, big news. NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo will host the first Democratic debate of the 2020 election. Exact time and location still being sorted out. But because the field is so big, this thing is gonna be held over two nights in June, with the line-ups for each chosen at random, not by ranking in the polls. I do love that. But the candidate will need at least one percent support in three qualifying polls to be eligible.

As part of the NBC family, I just have to say how excited we all are, or at least me personally. And if my bosses are watching, hey, hey, I’m free in June. I’m just saying.    

(...)

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Debates Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show Video Rachel Maddow Stephanie Ruhle

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