Tonight’s Town Hall battle was more pitched and pointed than the first, as the two men running for president paced the stage answering questions from undecided voters, and follow-ups from moderator Candy Crowley. After both the Obama and Romney campaigns expressed concern about Crowley’s role, the CNN anchor says, “I expected them to come at me when I would try to rein them in,” adding, “I didn’t take it personally.”
In fact, Crowley says Obama/Romney Round Two was what a passionate debate of the issues should be: “They were so good at sort of being in each other’s face.”
Crowley’s turn is being remembered most for her fact-checking of Mitt Romney who said “it took the president 14 days” to call the attack in Benghazi a terrorist act. But Crowley, referencing a White House transcript noted in Rose Garden comments the day after the attack Pres. Obama said, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.”
On Fox News, Charles Krauthammer called Crowley’s correction an “intervention, which is essentially incorrect,” saying Crowley was “supporting Obama on the transcript.” On Fox Business, Neil Cavuto added, “Calling something a terror act is very different than calling it a terrorist act. And then a moderator intervening to defend the president as if he did say that… is a little, you know — and I like Candy a lot.”
Of course, there was bound to be criticism of Crowley just as there will likely be next week when CBS’s Bob Schieffer moderates the final debate.
For Crowley, who went on CNN not long after signing off from her moderating duties, it was a good night: “I thought the first part of the especially was fun to watch, and hopefully enlightening to people.”