Will Debate Dig Into the Issues? Bob Schieffer Says ‘No Way’

By Mark Joyella 

Former Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer says tonight’s CNN Republican debate may be good TV, but it won’t do much to help voters understand what the candidates truly stand for.

“Anybody who thinks they’re going to get a serious discussion of the issues when you’ve got eleven people on the stage,” Schieffer said. “When you’ve got all these candidates, there’s no way, in two hours that anybody’s going to talk very much.”

Schieffer, a Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, spoke at the Shorenstein Center Tuesday, sharing some of what he learned about campaigns and presidents over his long CBS News career–long enough to get an awkward compliment from one student. “I watched you every Sunday morning growing up as a kid, so my Mom is super excited that I’m here today.”