MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: “I Totally Agree” That Debate Moderators Don’t Need To Fact-Check

Scarborough: “Chris Wallace Said ‘I’m Not A Fact-Checker.’ I Totally Agree With That.”

From the September 21 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

Video file

WILLIE GEIST (CO-HOST): Let’s be honest. We have two known quantities for over the course of thirty years. We’re not going to learn a lot new about them. So to me, it's the image of them standing there. Which one of those two people can be president of the United States.

CHUCK TODD: It’s going to be a concentrated time on policy for the first time, though. We haven't had that. And that’s --  

NICOLLE WALLACE: Or not. Trump doesn't play by the rules. Or not. I think we get played when we assume the theory of the case is that he's going to stand there and respect the moderator and follow the rules. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): And let me say too, I said earlier today it was up to Hillary Clinton, if he doesn't play by the rules, for her to not play by the rules, To keep going to him – It's the same thing with Lester Holt, who by the way, I thought it was very funny. It was “Lester is a Democrat. Lester is a liberal.” All this other stuff. And there’s a release that he's like a registered, like, Republican in New York or something like that. 

TODD: What Trump is doing is so ham-handed, right? This whole, like, attack moderators and try to work the refs is ridiculous. 

SCARBOROUGH: Right, but what I’m saying is though, it's also up to Lester to, if he goes -- to just keep hammering and just to keep going, not to be like Candy Crowley and put himself in the middle of it, but if he doesn't answer the question, keep after it. And I guess the -- 

TODD: This debate is not about Lester. This debate is about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Let's remember this. And I --  


SCARBOROUGH: Moderators are extraordinarily important. And so, yes, it is about Lester and it is about the candidates and it is about does Donald Trump get to on stage and completely blow through all of the guard rails. So, I think its extraordinarily important --

TODD: I'm with you on -- it's up to Hillary Clinton. If he's going to flout the rules, this becomes the challenge and this is probably why she's spending more time in prep. And this is where I think he's going to regret not doing prep. They're throwing every fastball. They're throwing, you know, they’re going to hit her with everything. The nastiest stuff. It won't be new to her. I think they're expecting the kitchen sink. So I think if Trump is really not prepping very well, he may regret it. 

SCARBOROUGH: And by the way, on the Lester front, I just want to -- there's been this great debate out there, like Ron Fournier said you need to be the fact-checker. No. Bob Schieffer is not a fact-checker. [Jim] Lehrer wasn’t a fact-checker.

WALLACE: Chris Wallace has said I'm not going to be a fact-checker.

SCARBOROUGH: Chris Wallace said “I'm not a fact-checker.” I totally agree with that. 


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