If you follow what I write in the Federalist or subscribe to my newsletter, The Transom, you know, I have a collection of things that I really hate. That list includes the man Bundes Khail, the Eagles, both musical and sporting, the Brit Marling films, and most of all, the Presidential Debate Committee. The commission is an antique. It does not serve the interests of the American people. They’ve seen it over and over again, diploid biased moderators looking only to undermine the Republican nominee and give the Democrat every chance to win.
It’s the most obviously skewed game since Tim Donaghy pitched the 2002 Western Conference final to the Lakers over the Kings. It’s a prank. We all know. From the moment CNN’s Candy Crowley acted as a second fighter against Mitt Romney in 2012, Republicans should have left behind.
It took the president 14 days to call the Benghazi attack an act of terror. Get the transcript. In fact, he did, sir. So let me call it an act. Can you say that word? He called it an act of terror. He did too. Take it too. Please take two weeks or so for the idea that there is a riot on this tape to come out. You’re right that the.
The commission is a weak holdover from a time when there were only three channels on television – even Bob Dole believes it is no longer useful. And this time, they set up a debate with a C-SPAN presenter who was openly asking Anthony Scaramucci debate questions of NIF President Trump, and then lied about it, claiming that he had been hacked. You should know that only Joy Reid can get away with lies like that. For years, I’ve been asking the Republican Party to ditch the old debate format and run these things differently.
It’s about time we got rid of formatting restrictions and obviously skewed anchors. I’d rather see a debate moderated by Tucker Carlson and Rachel Maddow or Laura Ingraham and Van Jones than submit to people like the aggressively hackish John Harwood, whose opening question on CNBC is the twenty-six-year debate.
Mr. Trump, yes, you have done very well this campaign so far by promising to build a wall and make another country pay for it. Right. Send 11 million people out of the country, cut taxes, 10 trillion dollars without increasing the deficit and improving the situation of Americans because their greatness would replace the stupidity and incompetence of others. That’s how it is. Let’s be honest. Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?
What a profound question. Today, the RNC finally announced that it would break with the commission. Finally, President Ronna McDaniel said that after repeated missteps and partisan actions that underscored her biases last cycle, it is clear that the Commission on Presidential Debates no longer provides the fair and impartial forum for presidential debates that the law requires. and the American people deserve it. Last year, I barely supported the idea that Joe Rogan should moderate a presidential debate. And why not? He is the best interviewer working today, and I predicted that this is the last year that the Committee on Presidential Debates will be determinative on these things.
People are tired of this format. They are ready to move on to something for the YouTube era. And they are not going to have a group of people born in the 30s and 40s dictating parameters and naming their Favorite TV host to do this in twenty-four. Joe Rogan may not be able to moderate a debate this time, but he will eventually. That is good. It means that we might actually get some important answers. Joining me now, Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor of The Federalist and contributor to Fox News.
Thanks for joining me, Molly.
It’s great to be here with you.
Why did the RNC take so long to do this that all of us, as viewers, have seen as an obvious problem for a long time?
It’s amazing that it took so long, you know, the Trump campaign, the year before the election actually said they were thinking about not working with the presidential debating committee, but then they did. And it was a huge and catastrophic mistake for them. You know, the Democratic Party had a strategy for 20, 20. It was to keep Joe Biden a little hidden and do a lot of mail on the first ballots. And the debating committee, once that started happening, you know, there were all these early votes and mail-in ballots.
The Trump campaign said, well, shouldn’t we fast-forward the debates since people are already going to vote? And the debate committee flatly refused, knowing it would damage the Democratic strategy of how to elect Joe Biden. So you had the first debate almost a month after people started voting, and then you have the issues that you talked about with the moderators that were clearly in favor of Biden. They had to leave the second debate due to problems with the moderator who claimed that he was hacked and they did not.
They were embarrassed about it. There were so many problems, including that they said they were going to have a foreign policy debate, which of course was President Trump’s strong point and a strong point that many Republicans hadn’t had in a long time because it was a strong point. They left that. It was that they dropped it. They no longer held a foreign policy debate. I mean, this is just a high level of meddling in an election that is inappropriate for a group that is supposedly bipartisan.
As you know, this was a situation where, due to the restrictions of the pandemic, the debates mattered much more. This was the only time I was going to get a real interaction from Joe Biden or have him answer any of the critical questions that seem quite relevant now, especially as it relates to our relationship with China, Iran, Israel and the like. Why did we have such a complete media shutdown? Why weren’t they crying out for the debating committee to push these things forward so that we could really have answers to these questions?
Right, because the media were also on the same side as the Democratic Party and the debate committee, so everything worked in everyone’s favor, but the people who lost were the American people. And, you know, this is something that’s been a problem, like you said, for so long. We need to have really good discussions that you can dig into and see what the different positions of people are, not just what they are going to respond to in a very short period of time.
And then I hope that when I am so glad that this age is over, I needed to die a long time ago. But I hope that in the future we will have some really good discussions between the candidates and also maybe not only between the two main candidates of the party, but also with other parties that, you know, might also need a broadcast. So many things can happen in the days.
It’s absolutely crazy to me because I know you love debates the same way you love me when we’re addicted. We love that they come back. You know, there are so many critical moments that have been defining in American politics that stem from them. And yet this seems to be something that the main parties and those involved really haven’t been able to get right for a long time. What is one change you would like to make to the format of the discussion or the way the moderators were chosen that would lead to good results and better questions and answers?
In fact, I wish there were no moderators, I would like to see each candidate ask the other candidate a question and see what kind of questions they are asking or what are the topics that are important and have a real conversation. The moderators haven’t worked for a long time, so let them go. But let’s go ahead and get the candidates to have a real debate.
I’m certainly in favor of that. I think as a surrogate, rather than a debate, we could also have the candidates just run a Dairy Queen for a week and see who came out on top at the end of the week because for me that would actually be more thoughtful. the work of having to execute something that is currently back and forth