Conservative Leaders React to Presidential Debate, Excoriate Moderators

October 10th, 2016 1:26 PM

Following the second 2016 presidential debate on Sunday night between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald, a diverse array of conservative leaders (including Media Research Center President and Founder Brent Bozell) offered their reactions to the proceedings and the bias performances of debate co-moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz:

“Donald Trump took the debate to what matters – the economy, national security, radical Islam, Supreme Court appointments, and Clinton corruption. He defeated Hillary, the moderators, and the wimps in the GOP.”
— Gary Bauer, Former presidential candidate, Chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
And former Domestic Policy Advisor to President Ronald Reagan

“For Donald Trump, his themes of growth, the rule of law, breaking the china in DC and defeating radical Islam carried the night. Mr. Trump clearly established he will disrupt the status quo and business as usual if he is elected the next President of the United States. He made it clear that Mrs.Clinton would be a third term of the failed policies of President Obama, from Obamacare, to his failure with ISIS, his war on coal, the working class and the Constitution. The SCOTUS was effectively reestablished as a game changing issue. Mr. Trump is not an Evangelical or a rock ribbed conservative but he is clearly our best choice for making appointments to the Court that will protect religious liberty!”
— Ken Blackwell, Chairman, Constitutional Congress, Inc.

“After last night, Raddatz and Cooper’s reputation as biased, partisan media operatives is clear for all to see. Both moderators repeatedly interrupted and challenged Trump, and caressed Hillary throughout the night. Trump called them both on their bias and it’s plain for the American people to see at this point, the media are all in 100% for Hillary. Raddatz's performance was especially egregious. She oozed contempt and it was there on the national stage for everyone to see.  Trump was right when he said it was one against three, but he prevailed nonetheless.”
— L. Brent Bozell III, President and Founder, Media Research Center

“The choice could not be clearer. One candidate dreams of open borders, and seeks to flood our nation with a massive wave of un-vetted Islamic refugees. The other candidate prioritizes American safety. Case closed.”
— Brigitte Gabriel, President, ACT for America

“Donald Trump won the debate, but the media-consuming public will never know it.  From the one-sided officiating by the moderators (especially Martha Raddatz) to the post-debate pundits to the Monday morning newspaper and television coverage, little attention was paid to Trump’s many substantive points.  They all preferred to focus on the tawdry business of an eleven-year old tape rather than the choice between the two candidates in 2016 and their sharply contrasting plans for the future of the nation.”
— Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring.

“Trump won last nights debate by being blunt, direct, and courageous. He said things no other candidate would have the guts to say. He took the Clinton corruption and Clinton dishonesty head on. This is a real test of the American people. Will they let the elite liberal media focus them only on anti-Trump messages while hiding the Clinton secret speeches stories.”
— Newt Gingrich, Former US Presidential Candidate, Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (1995 to 1999), and Author of Treason, a new novel

“If Trump was on the ropes he skillfully fought his way to a TKO, a technical knockout in their second bout. With Trump's counterpunching skills I predict he will win in Vegas, by another TKO, and ultimate knockout Election Day. He is the agent of change people are hungering for. She is the status quo. He is anti-establishment. She is establishment personified. More than 70% of the public thinks the country is going in the wrong direction. She is more of the same wrong direction. He wants to cut taxes and spending and regulations to spur economic growth and create jobs. She wants to increase taxes, spending and regulations, depressing job creation, leading to longer unemployment lines. Stark contrasts. He evokes the American spirit of exceptionalism, patriotism and free enterprise, the same can do spirit espoused by Ronald Reagan. Seniors vote in higher numbers than others. Seniors have gone Republican in the past three Presidential races and while her ads have distorted his policy positions seniors are experienced enough and have lived long enough to read between the lines. Seniors can and will be the deciding factor again in this cycle.   Working with our National Spokesman, legendary entertainer Pat Boone, I will do everything I can reaching out to our millions of 60 Plus seniors.”
— Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association

“Trump didn’t pursue the strategy I would have recommended, but he did well and gave his campaign new life.  What I find astounding is the media: the snarky moderators, who crowded out questions from the audience; its characterization of the few questions that did get through as pedestrian; the constant “fact checking” of Trump while ignoring his opponent’s whoppers; the quoting of Trump out of context; and the belittling of the women who protested his opponent's enabling of her husband’s “alleged” infidelities.”
— James Miller III, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission (1981-1985), Budget Director, President Ronald Reagan(1985-1988)

“Trump finally spoke in complete sentences and began to focus on his very pro-growth tax cut plan and Hillary Clinton’s job destroying Trillion dollars in tax hikes. Trump made a stab at driving the debate toward the failures of Obamacare and the Clinton/Obama war on coal miners. Hillary read her talking points again.  This time Trump stayed more on message and showed that when he focuses on tax cuts, deregulation, the lousy economy, the rising costs of Obamacare and the Republican solutions to our economic woes—he can win a debate even with the “moderators” throwing punches for the other team. Trump fought one against three and still won.  Now. 30 days of continuing the focus and refusing to be distracted by shiny things and he could turn this around.”
— Grover Norquist, Founder and President, Americans for Tax Reform

"Despite biased moderators, despite having what was arguably the toughest 48 hours leading in to the debate, Trump was able to something not many thought possible: win. He was on the attack throughout, putting Hillary on her heels, was able to pivot and deflect all night and demonstrated that if he puts in the preparation, he can beat Hillary any time out." 
— Ned Ryun, Founder and CEO, American Majority, Inc. 

“The mainstream media was at it again with their blatant bias last night at the 2nd Presidential Debate. Not only did they continue with only asking tough questions of Trump and going easy on Hillary, but they constantly interrupted him and refused to let him answer several of Hillary's false claims. Trump was right, it was 1 against 3, and the American people are becoming more and more aware of this unfairness in the media. Even with all of these disadvantages, Trump still pulled off a victory and held his own in the debate. Good for him.”
— Terry Schilling, Executive Director, American Principles Project

“Trump dominated the second debate in every way. He apologized for his repulsive comments from 11 years ago and stayed focused on answering the questions. He was forceful on her failed foreign policy, her corrupt relationship w the big banks and the failed Obama-Clinton agenda. She seemed unable to keep up. Donald Trump is an imperfect candidate in a chaotic time. At the debate he was serious, ready and unrelenting. In addition he is now officially taking on all of Washington. This election is one like we have never seen and Americans know we are way off track. I don’t think any voter believes Hillary Clinton will correct any of this mess.”
— Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union

“The big national media are a part and parcel of the crooked oligarchy of big government, big business, big abortion and big corruption. The facts are simply not a part of their vocabulary. Their job is to defend the bureaucracy at any cost. Simple newsreaders swim in this corrupt culture and thus have a hyper inflated opinion of themselves, with no basis other than their own egos. They were the real losers last night, after another charter member of the corrupt Big Culture, Hillary Clinton.”
— Craig Shirley, Presidential Historian

“The 2016 Presidential election re-set button has just been pushed. Tonight Trump was at the top of his game. He's excited and brought new energy to his supporters. The debate score is tied each with a victory and the winner of the next debate will probably be the next President. Trump took control from his opening remarks with a sincere and believable apology and then went on a sustained attack-which kept Clinton on the defense. If Trump had performed at this level in the first debate he'd be course to lead the Republican Party to a realigning election that would allow conservatives to govern for a generation.”
— Richard Viguerie, Chairman, Conservative

“Last night, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump took on Hillary Clinton, Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper. And, yes, he wiped the floor with them all. Thanks to the events of the preceding 48 hours and the frenzy of the media and some very spineless GOP politicians, last night’s debate was set up to be a doozy. Yet, throughout the debate, Hillary Clinton was on defense, rightfully so; she was taken off her game as she came into this debate with a smug confidence evident in her demeanor. As for the moderators, they realized they were losing and did everything they could to assist Hillary Clinton. I never knew Martha Raddatz was some brilliant military strategist, but it appeared she injected herself as a debater. And Anderson Cooper’s attempt to try and convict Donald Trump for sexual assault over a private talk 11 years ago was appalling — especially considering Bill Clinton being in the audience.”
— Colonel Allen West, President, NCPA