- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2016

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday indicated he’d prefer a debate moderator who takes more of a hands-off approach and lets the candidates take each other on if someone slips up.

“You’re debating somebody and if she makes a mistake, or if I make a mistake, we’ll take each on,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” “But I certainly don’t think you want Candy Crowley again.”

“I really don’t think you want that. That was a very pivotal moment in that debate, and it really threw the debate off and it was unfair, so I don’t think you want that,” he said.

“No, I think you have to have somebody that just lets ‘em argue it out,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump was referring to Ms. Crowley, the former CNN reporter who moderated the second debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012.

Mr. Romney had said it took Mr. Obama two weeks to acknowledge that the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and Ms. Crowley said Mr. Obama did call it an act of terror.

Mr. Obama had said in the Rose Garden the day after: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

Mr. Trump called NBC anchor Lester Holt, who is moderating the first debate on Monday, a “very good person” but said there’s a lot of pressure on him after a recent military forum moderated by NBC’s Matt Lauer.

“They went after Matt Lauer. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Mr. Trump said. “I think my questions were harder than her questions, if you want to know the truth, and a lot of pressure’s being put on Lester Holt.”

“It’s Bobby Knight-type pressure with the refs, OK? Bobby Knight would go after the refs and that’s what they’re doing with Lester Holt, which is I think very, very unfair,” he said. “And a lot of people are watching to see whether or not he succumbs to that pressure.”

Earlier in the week, Mr. Trump had said Mr. Holt is a Democrat, though voter registration records reportedly show Mr. Holt has been a registered Republican.

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