While Donald Trump made his displeasure with the moderators clear during Sunday night’s debate, reviewers gave strong reviews to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz for tough questioning of both Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The New Yorker said the questioning “was tougher than it was in the first debate,” and noted Cooper’s follow-ups when he asked Trump about the 2005 recording that captured Trump seeming to brag about sexual assault. Trump dismissed it as “locker room talk,” and moved quickly to a discussion of ISIS. “Cooper, to his credit, didn’t let him off so easy. Three times, he interrupted Trump and asked him if he had actually done the things he boasted about on the recording. Twice, Trump tried to brush Cooper off. Finally, he said. ‘No, I have not.'”
The New York Times said both moderators “dug for revelations…pressed for specifics…and posed blunt, provocative questions.”
Writing in The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza named Raddatz one of the “winners” in his winners and losers round-up:
Trump, from the very start, seemed intent on driving home the idea that Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper were ganging up on him to help Clinton. And Raddatz’s back-and-forth with Trump over Syria will assuredly convince plenty of conservatives that he was right. But I thought Raddatz was forceful and fair. She refused to allow Trump or Clinton to filibuster, and she fact-checked when the moment required it. The only question I had about Raddatz while watching the debate was why the heck she didn’t get her own solo moderating gig in these debates.
Trump, of course, made his feelings known during the debate, at one point describing it as “three on one.” CNN assembled a medley of Trump’s comments about the moderators:
— CNN (@CNN) October 10, 2016
— Martha Raddatz (@MarthaRaddatz) October 10, 2016