Presidential Debate Co-Chair Admits Picking Candy Crowley Was ‘Mistake’

Before an audience of Nevada Republicans last night, Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, admitted the obvious: picking CNN correspondent Candy Crowley to moderate one of the 2012 candidate forums was a “mistake.”

“We made one mistake this time: Her name is Candy,” he told the assembled crowd organized by the conservative Keystone Group, according to state-based political reporter Jon Ralston.

Before she moderated the second presidential faceoff between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney last year, Crowley was regarded as being more fair than many liberals in the media. Her deliberate interruption of the debate with an incorrect "fact check" of a claim that Mitt Romney made about the Obama administration's actions during the attack on U.S. interests in Libya forever sullied that reputation.

Since then, Crowley’s left-wing tilt as a moderator has been panned by many people, not just conservatives. Liberal NBC political director Chuck Todd admitted her questioning favored Obama when he noted that “The President also benefitted from many questions posed by the so-called undecided voters, covering issues near and dear to his liberal base.”

Centrist MSNBC host Joe Scarborough also criticized Crowley for “making up history” by falsely claiming that President Obama had designated the Libya attacks as terrorism.

Perhaps most prominently, long-time debate moderator Jim Lehrer also spoke out against Crowley, saying that “as a general premise, I believe debate moderators are not there as fact-checkers... that is difficult for professional journalists to come to grips with.”

Now that Fahrenkopf, the chief Republican on the comission, has gone on the record against her as well, it is almost certain that Crowley will never be permitted to moderate a debate again. Unfortunately, the immense damage that she did with her false and disgraceful interruption cannot be undone.

For reference, Crowley's interruption can be seen in the video below:

2012 Presidential Debates Candy Crowley Frank Fahrenkopf
Matthew Sheffield's picture