Lehrer: I Was Supposed to Stay Out of the Way

Moderator's only regret is that the time was too short

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 5, 2012 5:47 AM CDT

(Newser) – Lots of people have complained about Jim Lehrer's moderation—or lack thereof—during Wednesday's debate, but he says he did just fine. The goal "was to facilitate direct, extended exchanges between the candidates about issues of substance. Part of my moderator mission was to stay out of the way of the flow and I had no problems with doing so," he explains in a statement picked up by Buzzfeed. "My only real personal frustration was discovering that 90 minutes was not enough time in that more open format to cover every issue that deserved attention." (Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal defends him today: "He didn't think it was about him. How quaint.")

Jim Lehrer stands outside the Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver on Monday.
Jim Lehrer stands outside the Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver on Monday.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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