CBS News said this morning that its Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett and The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel will join John Dickerson as moderators when it hosts the next GOP debate. Dickerson again will be candidate wrangler-in-chief on Saturday, February 13, at the Peace Center in Greenville S.C. Unless Donald Trump can figure out why he objects, it’s presumed he’ll be back on the stage, though CBS News did not announce qualifying candidates in this morning’s debate-details announcement.
Google will provide real-time trends data to all platforms. You know, like the last GOP debate, on Fox News Channel, when Google reported a surge in the number of people looking up “amnesty” as candidates Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz pummeled one another on that topic.
Debate moderators have become their own storyline in this presidential election cycle, and the gig is fraught with danger. The RNC yanked NBC News’ GOP debate hosting gig after CNBC’s Republican debate in October, during which the candidates seemed to go harder after moderators than one another – almost more than they went after Dem front-runner Hillary Clinton, which was saying something. “This is not a cage match!” an exasperated Cruz shouted at moderators Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood at one point. What seems to have put the RNC over the edge that night was when Harwood kicked things off asking Trump if he was running “a comic book version of a presidential campaign.”
Dickerson got high marks in November when he moderated CBS News’ broadcast of the second Democratic debate, the night after the ISIS attacks in Paris, calling for a moment of silence after telling viewers, “the debate you’ve tuned into is a symbol of the freedom we cherish. Last night the world watched in horror as freedom was savagely attacked.”
GOP White House hopefuls tend to take their wildly successful traveling TV series to the site of the next election-cycle primary, and the CBS-hosted debate will be their final on-stage kerfuffle before the South Carolina primary. It starts at 9 PM ET, but CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano will kick off live coverage from New York at noon ET. And CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes will anchor the pre-debate show beginning at 6 PM ET live from the Peace Center. Cordes also gets the plum post-debate anchor gig; Dickerson will anchor the next morning’s debate-centric live edition of Face The Nation from the Peace Center.