Moderator says VP debate didn't fit the standard

October 5, 2008 11:27:14 AM PDT
If Thursday night's vice presidential debate didn't seem like much of an actual debate, the moderator suggests there was a reason. Gwen Ifill says both Joe Biden and Sarah Palin came in with their own agendas. She says Biden seemed to have decided "that he was going to debate John McCain," while Palin had decided "to give a stump speech to the American people."

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," the PBS journalist says there was little she could do as moderator beyond saying "no, no, no, I asked a question" and pleading for an answer.

Ifill says that, according the agreed-upon rules, her job was to move the debate along, which left it up to Biden to challenge Palin on factual errors, inaccuracies or for changing the subject and answering her own question.

Ifill also says that she was surprised at how much attention Sarah Palin has gotten. She says she was struck by how many of the questions people suggested to her before the debate were all about Palin.


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