Sep 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Debate commission co-chair: We don't expect moderators to fact-check candidates

Presidential Debate Commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said Sunday he doesn't expect Fox News anchor Chris Wallace or any of the other moderators to fact-check President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden at the debates.

What he's saying: "There's a vast difference between being a moderator in a debate and being a reporter who is interviewing someone," Fahrenkopf said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

  • Fahrenkopf said it's the role of a reporter conducting an interview to fact-check their subject. "But that's not the case in a debate. ... It's the role of the other person in a debate to be the one to raise that ... rather than the moderator."
  • "The minute the TV is off, there are going to be plenty of fact-checkers at every newspaper and every television station in the world. That's not the main role of our moderators," he continued.
  • "The commission's function is to put on television, before the people of the United States, the two candidates. They will act as they are going to act, we have no control over that, and then it's for them to make a judgment based on what they've seen."

Worth noting: Fahrenkopf dismissed the idea of the commission drug-testing either of the candidates, which President Trump said on Twitter he would be "strongly demanding."

What to watch: The debate will air 9pm to 10:30pm ET. Topics will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election.

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