Presidential Debate Moderators Selected: Anderson Cooper Gets Called Upon for First Time
CNN newsman likened debates to a “knife fight” during his April interview with HowardSeptember 2, 2016
Anderson Cooper has been selected to moderate a general election presidential debate for the first time in his career. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Friday that the CNN anchor will share moderating responsibilities with ABC’s Martha Raddatz during an Oct. 9 town hall debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. NBC’s Lester Holt will moderate the first debate on Sept. 26; Chris Wallace of Fox News will manage the final debate on Oct. 19.
Cooper, a frequent Stern Show guest, sat down with Howard in April and revealed his preparation process leading up to a political debate.
“For me, with a politician, I like to read everything they’ve said in the last six weeks,” Anderson told Howard. “Generally, if you know everything that they’ve said in the last six weeks, you kind of know what they’re going to say. Not so much with Donald Trump.”
Trump and Cooper have already shared the stage during the 2016 campaign – Anderson moderated a series of debates leading up to and during the Republican primaries.
“What’s really interesting are the debates because those are … like a knife fight,” Anderson told Howard in April, describing the delicate dance a moderator must take. “You have to think, okay well, if I ask this question to this candidate, then that’s going to make this candidate say this and want to respond.”
Howard also asked Anderson about remaining impartial while talking to politicos who don’t share the same political interests as him, especially conservative candidates who denounce same-sex marriage and gay rights.
“I just don’t think that’s my job,” Anderson said. “I honestly think my job is trying to figure out where this person is coming from and trying to confront them with facts. I’m not going to get into an argument with them about my opinion versus their opinion.”
Fellow friend of the Stern Show Andy Cohen congratulated Anderson on Twitter:
And yes, my feelings are hurt I was not chosen. What more experience do I NEED!?!? #PresidentialDebate— Andy Cohen (@Andy) September 2, 2016
Listen to clips from Anderson Cooper’s most recent interview with Howard below.