For Abrams and Kemp, a Debate Rematch Recalls a 2018 Exchange
The Democratic debate moderated by Chuck Todd will come to a close at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 28. On Friday, CNN posted an article by journalist Ari Berman titled, “Here’s What Happens in a Debate and What It Means for Hillary Clinton.” After explaining how the debate will unfold and explaining the debate rules, Berman tells of an earlier exchange between the two presidential candidates, George Stephanopoulos and the moderator at the 2004 Republican Debate.
In that exchange, Stephanopoulos asked Donald Trump about Clinton’s health and the Clinton Foundation. Stephanopoulos pointed out that Bill Clinton had spoken out against Trump, but offered no specifics. To her credit, Clinton offered a response that addressed the president’s attack on her family – “I’ve heard that my father has criticized you. I think it’s unfair.” As Berman notes, Trump then fired back, “You think it’s unfair that I attacked your father? I think that’s unfair! I don’t think so!”
Berman reminds us of two other instances in which debate moderators offered responses to the candidate at the heart of the exchange. In the 2004 debate moderated by Bob Schieffer, Schieffer directly addressed the candidates, asking them whether or not they were concerned about the prospect of a peaceful transfer of power in 2004. As Berman notes, the moderator asked Clinton for her response: “I was trying to explain my approach to the campaign and also to the voters who are going to determine elections. I also told President Bush that we would have to go to an early general election because I was worried about what would happen if the country were to be split in half. I also had an understanding of the issues and I was telling him and the country what my approach was. I’m sure he appreciated that.” In the 1988 debate moderated by Dan Rather, Rather was asked a question about U.S. involvement in Latin America. As Berman noted, Rather responded that he was not aware of the country before the question and that he only learned a