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Debate Moderator Candy Crowley Defends Herself Over Conservative Criticism

CNN's Candy Crowley said she was not backtracking on her fact-check during last night's debate, while conservatives accused her of liberal bias


After Tuesday's presidential debate, conservatives unleashed a barrage of criticism against the moderator of the debate, CNN's Candy Crowley.

Many alleged a liberal bias, saying that Crowley had helped President Barack Obama with her impromptu fact-check on his speech about the attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Rush Limbaugh said on Wednesday, "She kept feeding Obama lines. She did, folks, she kept feeding him lines. She kept prompting him. You Democrats, he couldn’t have done this last night without her assistance," according to Politico.

He continued, "She committed an act of journalistic terror or malpractice last night. If there were any journalist standards, what she did last night would have been the equivalent of blowing up her career like a suicide bomber."

John Nolte wrote in Breitbart, "We're done with the second presidential debate, but it was apparent 45 minutes in that between the questions Crowley chose and her handling of who was allowed to speak and when, that this debate was a total and complete setup to rehabilitate Barack Obama."

"Candy Crowley, the CNN moderator in charge of tonight’s debate, covered for President Obama by endorsing his false narrative of the killings in Libya," said John Fund, writing for The National Review. "She stepped out of the role of moderator to play an alleged 'fact-checker.' She corrected Mitt Romney’s statement that Obama had referred to the Libyan attacks as a reaction to an anti-Muslim video, rather than a terrorist attack."

The biggest point of contention for conservatives was when Crowley responded to Romney's question of whether or not Obama defined the Benghazi attack as "an act of terror" or not by saying, "He did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror," according to Politico.

"Candy Crowley had no business trying to fact-check in real time, because she was incorrect," said Romney surrogate and former Gov. John Sununu, according to Politico.

When Crowley later acknowledged on CNN that Romney was "right in the main" but "picked the wrong word," conservatives accused her of backtracking.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said, "The moderator said that ... he was right in the main on this, that she wasn’t correct in pointing out that he made reference to this being a specific terrorist attack," while speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," on Wednesday, according to The Washington Post.

During the debate, she had in fact followed up her initial assertion with, "He — he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea [of] there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that."