We now know who will be making up the seven-candidate GOP forum on Fox News Channel tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET, ahead of the 10-candidate debate later that night: Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore will appear at the one-hour event moderated by FNC’ Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer. We caught up with MacCallum for 5 Questions before she headed to Cleveland and began by asking her about the controversial decision to limit the main event to only certain candidates.
TVNewser: How do you feel about limiting the GOP debate to 10 candidates?
MacCallum: There have never been more that 10 candidates on a debate stage and we want everyone to be heard. I think if you want to be President, you better show up and tell the American people what’s on your mind, whether it’s at 5 p.m. or 9 p.m.
TVNewser: What are the challenges that go into moderating a forum for the candidates that don’t make the cut?
MacCallum: It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve been prepping for some time and been working on questions and topics, but things change every day so we’ll continue to tweak and update until the end. And, with such a diverse field all the candidates will have some big moments that will get attention and in the end it won’t matter what time they happened.
TVNewser: You’ve interviewed many notable politicians, including President Obama, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Harry Reid, Gen. David Petraeus, former First Lady Laura Bush, Mitt and Ann Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie. Who, if any, was the most intimidating? And who would you love to interview that you haven’t gotten an opportunity with yet?
MacCallum: Of that list I’d say Laura Bush believe it or not. She’s a great lady, but she has a “Mom-stare” that is pretty intimidating if she thinks you’re winding up to ask her something she doesn’t want to talk about. Now that I have teenagers, I have one of those too! I’d love to interview Hillary and Bill Clinton together and ask them about their dynamic partnership.
TVNewser: Anything outside of work planned for your trip to Cleveland? Maybe an Indians game or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
MacCallum: Every time I travel for work, I always think that maybe they’ll be time to take in some of the local sights. But there never is. We work long hours during elections. But if a window opens up, I will definitely head to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’d love to see that. Too bad we are not doing the debate there. (Instead, it will be held at Quicken Loans Arena “The Q.”)
TVNewser: OK, let’s get serious for the last question. What is your favorite meal? Restaurant and exact order, please.
MacCallum: Lobster roll and Cape Cod chips (in the bag) at The Captain’s Table in Chatham, Mass., – with a Cape Cod IPA, of course.