A group created in the aftermath of the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords has criticized Donald Trump for his attacks on journalists selected to moderate the upcoming presidential debates.
“Mr. Trump’s attacks on the presidential debates and their moderators is an attempt to undermine one of the key pillars of the nation’s political process,” said Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute of Civil Discourse. “For our system to work, all Americans must have the opportunity to watch major party candidates on the stage at the same time, listen to their thoughtful policy perspectives, and decide for themselves for whom they will vote.”
Trump has described the selection of moderators as “an unfair system.” Trump accused NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, who will moderate the first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton of being “a Democrat,” despite public records indicating he is registered as a Republican.
Trump has said CNN’s Anderson Cooper “treats me very unfairly.”
The NICD has released a set of debate standards for civility, with more than 75 organizations, including the AARP, signing on. The group’s national advisory board includes includes former President George H.W. Bush and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.