(NEW YORK) — Debate moderator Candy Crowley defended her decision to interject in a heated moment about Libya during last night’s presidential debate, saying she was not trying to “fact check,” but just trying to move the debate along.
“It didn’t come to me as I’m going to fact check that. It came to me as let’s get passed this. To me I was really trying to move the conversation along. This is a semantic thing,” Crowley told the hosts of The View.
Her comments angered some debate watchers, particularly Mitt Romney supporters.
The CNN correspondent spoke up during a heated exchange between President Obama and Romney over whether the president cited terrorism as the cause of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans.
With Romney insisting that Obama did not blame it on a terror attack for another two weeks, Crowley piped up to say he had cited a terror attack the day after the Americans were killed.
“He did call it an act of terror,” Crowley said of the president’s remarks, but then told Romney, “you are correct” that it took the White House two weeks to fully admit that the attack was the result of planned terrorist operation and not part of protest against an anti-Islam video.
Crowley said on The View she was not coming down on the side of the president and those accusing her of bias should “listen to the thing I said right after, which is you’re point Mr. Romney, you’re absolutely correct. It took them weeks to get past the tape, the riot.”
Obama seized on Crowley’s comments during the debate, asking “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” and fueling conservative accusations of bias.
Obama went into the White House Rose Garden the day after the Americans died and told reporters, “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. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”
Crowley told The View that “People are going to look at this through the prism they look at this through. I get that.”
She said having the two candidates argue back and forth gave her flashbacks of her children fighting, but she did not believe the two men personally dislike one another.
“I got the vibe they have so much at stake here,” she said of the second debate held last night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Days before the debate, Crowley on several occasions said she planned to follow up on questions posed to candidates by an audience of undecided voters.
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