Trump: We Shouldn’t have Debate Moderators Because they Might be Tougher than Matt Lauer

by Laura Clawson –

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are poised to lead the nation's two major parties in this fall's presidential election

Donald Trump says he’s ready to really shake things up for the upcoming presidential debates: he wants to do away with moderators entirely, because “the system is being rigged” against him.

Here’s Trump’s argument: Matt Lauer was “very professional” and in no way went easy on Trump at last week’s Commander in Chief Forum. But Trump is concerned that his political opponents are using claims that Lauer went easy on him—which Lauer totally did, failing to call Trump out on blatant lies and letting him ramble on unchecked—to pressure the moderators of upcoming debates into treating Trump “very, very unfairly.”

“The fact is,” Trump continued, “that they’re gaming the system, and I think, maybe, we should have no moderator. Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate because I think the system is being rigged so it’s gonna be a very unfair debate, and I can see it happening right now because everyone’s saying that he was soft on Trump. Well now the new person’s gonna try to be really hard on Trump just to show, you know, the establishment what he can do. So I think it’s very unfair what they’re doing. So I think we should have a debate with no moderators — just Hillary and I sitting there talking.”

It’s hard to imagine what would more decisively shift women’s votes to Hillary Clinton than the sight of Trump talking over her for a solid hour and a half with no moderator to even try to get Clinton some speaking time. But as flawed as presidential debates are, entirely giving up on having the candidates pressed by a moderator to talk about the issues and letting Trump determine the subjects discussed by dint of being the loudest person onstage don’t seem great for the democratic decision-making process.

Trump doesn’t really want to dispense with moderators, though. He’s trying to work the refs himself, through the laughable assertion that Matt Lauer didn’t go easy on him—message being: future debate moderators should go just as easy on him. Republicans have worked that angle for decades with their ranting about the “liberal media.” But Trump may be going too far by trying to claim Matt Lauer was anything but an embarrassment.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos