What is up with George Stephanopoulos? And please stop letting Diane Sawyer ramble on like a bad beat poet or a wistful Peggy Noonan. Last night’s GOP debate in St. Anselem College in Manchester, New Hampshire was a complete softball game; slo-pitch at that. The best moderator at this debate was the guy from the local Manchester TV station. This is the second debate I’ve seen from ABC News that Stephanopoulos has poorly moderated. I didn’t even watch the whole thing and I gleaned three really bad questions.
Here are my nominations for dumbest questions:
“Congressman Paul, obviously you’re running for the Republican primary but you haven’t promised to support the nominee and you’ve refused to rule out running as a third party candidate. Why not rule that out?”
Two things: the question is loaded with the presumption that Paul is the eventual loser. The second thing is, why should he rule it out? He doesn’t need to address it until he is out of the race. And haven’t we heard him address this half dozen times already? He’s given the same answer every single time: “I’ll make that decision later”. Don’t you guys have any substantive questions to ask Dr. Paul?
“If you weren’t here tonight at the debate, what would you be doing with your Saturday night?”
Really? Is that what the American public wants to know about these candidates?
And then there was this awkward exchange between Mitt Romney and Stephanopoulos regarding whether or not states have the right to ban contraception (if you listen closely, you can hear an audience member yell at Stephanopoulos to ‘get off the topic’):
I’ve got to side with Romney on this one. It was a silly question The most frightening thing in this exchange was Romney’s admission that he would appoint more Supreme Court Justices like Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts. If that doesn’t scare you independents into voting for Obama, then you’re a zombie and should be dealt with as such.
This sad excuse for a debate should not be repeated. No tough questions were asked and Romney was given a complete pass. They even let him recite some of his stump speech. Let’s hope David Gregory does better in the morning on the Meet the Press debate.