Obama, Romney Campaign Express Concern Over Candy Crowley’s Role at Town Hall Debate

By Chris Ariens 

A day ahead of the second presidential debate, the Obama and Romney campaigns are agreeing on one issue: the moderator’s role in the Town Hall style debate. The campaigns complain CNN’s Candy Crowley is planning to take liberties with her role as moderator, according to TIME’s Mark Halperin. Halperin writes the campaigns are miffed about statements Crowley has made in interviews ahead of the Town Hall. To CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, Crowley said: “Once the table is kind of set by the town-hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?'”

The campaigns claim this does not go along with what they agreed to.

As stated in the document: “In managing the two-minute comment periods, the moderator will not rephrase the question or open a new topic … The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate or otherwise intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments during the two-minute response period.”

Crowley’s not commenting to Halperin. She told TVNewser’s Gail Shister, in a column published this morning, “The whole idea is to channel the voter and what he’s still wondering about,” adding, “Their campaigns set the rules, largely. In some ways, that makes it a little easier for me.”

Halperin says one of his sources “expressed confidence that, despite Crowley’s remarks on CNN, the moderator would perform on Tuesday night according to the rules agreed to by the two campaigns.”