Lehrer: 'Nobody's blaming me for anything'
Presidential debate moderator takes on his critics
- Duration 7:00
- Date Oct 8, 2012
Presidential debate moderator takes on his critics
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And our continued to reduce the deficit are there has to be revenue in addition to cuts that there has to be reverend -- Democrats now governor Romney has ruled out running.
What about our revenue absolutely company so I look do the revenue I get.
Is by more people working getting higher pay.
Paying more taxes that that's how we get growth and how we balance the budget but the idea of taxing people more putting more people -- -- work.
It that you'll never get there you never balance the budget by raising taxes.
That was my next guest Jim -- moderating the first when he twelve presidential debate last week -- the left tried very hard to make him the scapegoat for Obama's pitiful performance but.
I think for 67 million Americans who watched it was well pretty obvious the blame laid squarely with president himself -- to respond.
Is the author of tension city former PBS.
News anchor Jim.
Hurry that the seeing a very good see you Sean it was a pleasure you know you make of -- -- good evening.
This is the news -- a hot hot I don't have family does really well you do that I did OK yeah I'm -- at the door -- -- -- -- yeah we do and has but you know.
-- to a great the president -- errors during graded the team is.
Took some time to get -- -- in place and I kind of transitioned out in.
I'm very happy about the PBS Newshour -- it's functioning I felt bad for you problem after the debate.
A lot of criticism heaped on you -- did you feel about that.
But you know I'm not really keen on criticism just is a federal plant that the but.
That was right at the beginning.
The criticism is pretty much had gone away now because people realize.
That -- spin doesn't work if you see everybody's seen the event 67 million people watched it 67 million other people.
Reacted to it's all excerpts from -- all of that so they know what they saw.
So -- everybody's pretty well chilled out on this and nobody is blaming me for to have -- -- me for anything.
And the format is what made what made.
It possible whatever happened some people think it would look at and a positive way some people look at it a negative way we'll however.
The fact of matter is it was the format.
And all I did was implement the format which was a wide open an op opportunity for the candidates to directly addressing which was -- -- -- ahead -- -- absolutely but that's it no secret that that be out.
I actually made a comment.
That you think this will forever change presidential debates I do spike.
Well I think there's been a progression I've been I moderated a lot -- on Madden infer from 1988.
They used to be very controlled there would be a moderator -- -- be.
Three journalist -- house and panelists and ask a question can be an answer in the next journalists would ask a question a different question monitor -- subject no follow up nothing.
And over a period the debate commission.
Has worked very steadily it's a bipartisan commission.
Old politician -- -- understand the system.
And they have worked very hard we moved into they moved and I wish I -- could help him implement and just as a moderator.
And and we -- moved into a single moderator system.
And slowly but surely opened it up a little bit 2008.
There was a rule which allowed.
The candidates for the first time to address each other in question each other what are the candidates chose not -- that was John McCain John -- -- didn't work.
It didn't work as well -- I thought I made a fool of myself trying to get McCain did you ought to talk to Obama in front of everybody getting -- and Obama played fine.
And but it didn't it didn't it didn't work but it was a good it did establish the idea now and then the commission came up -- -- to fifteen minute segments -- -- a wide open for fifteen minutes after initially thought it was -- And I I liked it because it was but let them debate each other it was -- the baby wasn't a joint press conference here are they re kind of redefine what moderator is two shot gap and because I've been one of the criticism -- billion billion partisans are partisans are partisans but people are nonpartisan.
Also criticize me because I didn't.
I didn't follow up I didn't -- challenge people who see the whole my whole point was on the commission's whole point and I was.
Implementing what they wanted -- -- -- the enthusiastically agreed with.
What if there was going to be any challenging the candidates were gonna have to do it themselves yes I was gonna facilitate the challenging but I wouldn't -- to do it myself.
You've you've been doing this a long time coming presidential debates vice presidential debates and be done totaled twelve -- twelfth when was October 3 at that is pretty amazing.
Are you nervous before these debates TC nervousness in the candidates knowing that the magnitude of the moment there is nervousness.
Everywhere there certainly is -- me.
And I think anybody.
Who says they're not nervous before they've moderator presidential debate is either a fool or a liar -- -- -- how could you not be nervous and it in and Arab and everything that day.
For more from moderator for one thing just multiply -- fifteen -- for a candidate because.
One false move.
One false word.
Can affect the presidency of the United States and I'm always aware of it when I'm moderated something can happen candidates not be in makes any history has proven that do you get a sense -- I was actually thinking this during the debate.
Do you get a sense while what's going on.
That one is winning the debate.
I mean -- you don't get a sense at all though I have I completely turn off.
Function in my brain become part of it -- I'm not sure -- the first of all remember and I'm seeing from here to there.
Sure and -- 67 mean people are watching on television.
So that is the perspective that is good that matters in this.
And I'm concentrating on trying to make the trains run on time try and not -- -- -- -- did the last minute when a debate is over and somebody says to me.
While -- really really kind of -- love.
While want to.
I don't I'm -- here -- it I'm not hair net and IEA IE it's it's not mine function.
As a moderate you know they are.
He committed to being.
Fair which I give -- a lot of credit for I don't I obviously couldn't do it.
Who was the most nervous I don't you mean -- -- -- of this and you don't understand.
Of all the candidates when you moderating a debate that it was most visibly uncomfortable to you both China and thought of -- it is all of them it's.
They're -- human beings too and no matter how much.
How many times they have been in front of millions and millions of people and -- kinds of things in addition to debates.
There's always a sign that they are they're nervous you can pick up on.
Yeah you know you can smell it.
I I have a lot of critics do.
I thought it was unfair and I played -- a great job and always committed to be in fair and that's really pleasure to see yet thank you for anyway thank you should -- -- good luck with the book as always and thanks for being here and -- right and.