Hillary Clinton’s campaign has asked NBC’s Lester Holt, the moderator for this year’s first presidential debate, to fact check Donald Trump during Monday’s showdown at Hofstra University in New York. According to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, the move reeks of “fear” and desperation.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told CBS This Morning on Monday that the Clinton campaign expects Holt to insert himself into the debate by calling out Trump for his supposed “lies” throughout the event.
Mook further asserted that Trump tells so many lies that Clinton could risk deviating from her own message to fact check him.
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Limbaugh told his radio audience of Monday, “What has happened basically is this. The Clinton campaign has sent marching orders to its drive-by media buddies to plaster, which they have done, since yesterday, story after story after story about Trump a liar. I mean, that’s the basic premise. Donald Trump is a liar and Lester Holt needs to fact check him in the in the middle of the debate. Lester Holt needs to challenge Donald Trump on every lie he utters.”
Limbaugh continued: “They are demanding this, and they’re putting all kinds of pressure on Lester ’cause if Lester doesn’t do this he knows what happened to Matt Lauer. If he does do this, don’t for a moment believe Trump isn’t gonna be prepared for this, for crying out loud. I have never seen something so transparent.”
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And from a supposed front-runner, Hillary Clinton, this reeks of some of the greatest fear that I have ever seen. She can’t beat this guy without stacking the deck? She can’t beat this guy without rigging it with the referee? She can’t beat this guy without the entire worldwide media piling on her opponent? I mean, that’s the message this is sending.
Mook told CBS, “We’re really focused on this opportunity that Hillary has to speak directly to the voters on the issues.”
“But we are concerned that Donald Trump may lie, he may throw misinformation out there, and that Hillary will have to spend all of her time trying to correct the record rather than talking about the things she wants to accomplish,” Mook said.
According to Limbaugh, “[I]f it was left up to Hillary, she wouldn’t have time to say anything positive. Because the criticism is that, ‘Hey, moderators shouldn’t do this. It’s up to the debate opponents here to fact check each other and argue with each other. It’s what a debate is, and the moderator ought have no role in it.'”
Limbaugh continued: “The left is saying, ‘Yeah, normally that’s true, but in this case it’s so bad — Trump is such a liar, he’s such an egregious liar — that if Mrs. Clinton focused on that that’s all she would have time for.”
He concluded: “The person in this debate who cannot tell the truth — I mean, literally cannot on two or three things and does not on most other thing — is Hillary Clinton.”
Holt’s liberal NBC News colleague Matt Lauer faced heavy criticism from mainstream media outlets and leftwing activist reporters after he asked Clinton about her email scandal and decided against fact-checking Trump during the Commander-in-Chief forum earlier this month.
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There has been much speculation in the weeks leading up to Monday night’s Hofstra debate as to whether Holt will attempt to avoid the same fate as Lauer and become this election’s Candy Crowley.
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