Protecting Dems: CNN Releases Rules for Next Democrat Debate

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ABC News

CNN released the outline for the second round of Democrat primary debates Tuesday evening, but some of the rules have critics wondering if the network is rushing to protect Democrats.

The debates – scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET July 30 and 31 in Detroit – have different rules than the first, with CNN banning shows of hands, one-word responses, and down-the-line questions. Candidates will get 60 seconds to respond to moderator questions and 30 seconds for rebuttals. Additionally, candidates who “consistently” interrupt will have their time reduced.

Details via CNN:

* Colored lights will be used to help the candidates manage their remaining response times: 15 seconds = yellow; 5 seconds = flashing red; no time remaining = solid red.
* A candidate attacked by name by another candidate will be given 30 seconds to respond.
* There will be no show of hands or one-word, down-the-line questions.
* A candidate who consistently interrupts will have his or her time reduced.
* Questions posed by the moderators will appear on the bottom of the screen for television viewers.

Some believe these rules – particularly banning show of hands responses – are an effort to protect certain candidates or hide some of the candidates’ more extreme positions.

“Wouldn’t want the candidates telling us what policies they want straight up,” Stephen Miller tweeted.

The pro-life website LifeNews tweeted: “Rules for the next Democrat debate call for no hand-raising questions. So we’ll help. Q. Who supports abortions up to birth and infanticide?” It added a raised hand emoji next to all of the listed candidates’ names.

BuzzFeed’s Darren Sands called the interruption penalty an “interesting, kind of murky, CNN wrinkle,” while Bloomberg’s Gregory Korte noted that the show of hands questions are “often among the most illuminating in a crowded debate.”

“CNN is scared to have people running for president raise their hands because of the policies they support. Think about that,” one Twitter user noted.

“Because we can’t have people knowing that ALL the Democratic candidates are nuts,” another added.

Democrats in the second debate last month were asked to raise a hand if their healthcare plan provided free services to illegal aliens. Every single one of the candidates during the second debate expressed support for providing taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens.

CNN will announce the qualifying candidates July 17 and hold a live draw to determine the lineup the following day.

CNN personalities Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper will moderate both nights.

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