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The Washington Posts reports that CNN’s Crowley says she will play journalistic role in presidential debate, as she sees fit, including asking follow-up questions, defying pressure from both campaigns to limit her role to just facilitating the conversation. Both campaigns expressed concern to the co-Chairmen of the debate commssion, Frank Frankenkopf, that Crowley would exceed her agreed upon role by asking follow-up questions.
In July, Crowley and the debates commission agreed with the campaigns that the moderator would “facilitate discussion,” Fahrenkopf said Monday. That meant she could ask a follow-up question on the topic under discussion, but not raise a new subject, he said.
“The commission and the moderator are not parties to” any agreement the campaigns may have, said Fahrenkopf, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, adding: “She agreed to abide by the rules of the commission, not the campaigns.”
Fahrenkopf said “facilitating discussion” is “a very broad thing. As long as she stays within her mandate, she’s not breaking any rules. She’s not supposed to be someone who’s arguing with the candidates. She’s not supposed to be an advocate in any way or inject herself into the debate. Beyond that, she’s not bound by whatever the campaigns agreed to.”
It doesn't appear as if the campaigns can do anything to stop Candy Crowley from playing the role she wants to play.
Time's Mark Halperin has released the full-length, previously secret, contract governing the presidential debates.
Every four years, the two campaigns sign a contract that establish the rules of the debate, from the time allotment for candidates' answers to the type of chairs Joe Biden and Paul Ryan were allowed on October 11. Halperin released the "Memorandum of Understanding" on Monday after both campaigns raised concerns about moderator Candy Crowley's comments about her role in the debate.
This is only the fourth time that the contract has been made available to the public. Good governance and media watchdog groups recently called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to release the MOU earlier this month.
Originally posted to HoundDog on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM PDT.