After Jim Lehrer’s debate performance a week ago, there was a lot of attention on moderator Martha Raddatz at Thursday’s vice presidential debate. And she held up to the pressure, earning wide praise for her tough questions and willingness to press the candidates and keep them to their time limits.
Here’s what some critics were saying of Raddatz’s performance:
“Martha Raddatz of ABC News didn’t ask puffy questions like Jim Lehrer did at the presidential debate. Or let the candidates get away with vague non-answers, as Jim Lehrer did. Ms. Raddatz acted like a working journalist instead of a television personality from her first question, on Ambassador Stevens’ death.” Andrew Rosenthal, The New York Times
“The debate moderator, Martha Raddatz, was a big improvement over Jim Lehrer, who moderated last week’s debate. She maintained control of the debate while also allowing the candidates to scuffle a little. Her questions covered a wide range of important issues and she held the candidates to actually answering her questions.” – Robert Watson, Huffington Post
“Raddatz nailed the role of a tough, savvy moderator in a clashing vice-presidential debate between two men who knew they had to fight for their respective parties. She didn’t let Biden or Ryan run roughshod over her, and she let it be known off the bat that she knew as much — or more — about foreign affairs and domestic issues as they did.” – Suzi Parker, The Washington Post
“Where Lehrer sat there like a slowly blinking bump as Mitt Romney ate up more than his share of the presidential debate’s answer time, Raddatz was firm but fair with the VP candidates. Where Lehrer asked softball questions like a college admissions counselor, Raddatz went with specific lines of inquiry that exposed each candidate’s weaknesses and the differences between them.” – Ann Friedman, New York
Not all the feedback was positive, of course, namely from the conservative camp, who claimed Raddatz interrupted Rep. Ryan more than vice president Biden.
“Martha Raddatz is the worst moderator. Maybe next time @PaulRyanVP should invite her to his wedding #VPDebate” said Fox News anchor Sean Hanity on Twitter, a reference to a story on the conservative site Daily Caller that attempted to discredit Raddatz as biased.