“I do not believe it is my job to be a truth squad. It’s up to the other person to catch them on that.” – Chris Wallace, FOX News, on how he will moderate the debates.
Thanks, Chris Wallace. You just gave Donald Trump his roadmap to winning the debates.
OK, that’s unfair to Chris, a little bit. The other moderators surely won’t spend all of their time fact checking, either.
Therein lies the Trump strategy.
Tell lies and half-truths non-stop.
The reason is simple – if the moderators do not correct Trump, Hillary Clinton will be forced to correct him, in real time.
With only a short period to give answers and rebuttals, and without moderators stepping in to keep things honest, Hillary Clinton will spend a disproportionate amount of her time having to correct the record.
That leaves little time for her to talk about what she wants to do. Worse, making her correct Trump herself, because the moderators won’t, will let the Trump campaign paint her as an “annoying know-it-all.”
There’s not much else to write on this. If the moderators let Donald Trump know that he can tie up Hillary Clinton by forcing her to fact check him, constantly, then that is what he is going to do.
And it’ll work.
The only solution is for the moderators to promise Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton, that any blatant lies will be called out by the moderator. That, if they try it, they’ll get called out and embarrassed.
Give the candidates fair warning. Make them have an actual debate.
To me, that’s the top job of any moderator.