HEMPSTEAD, NY, October 16, 2012, ( – CNN’s Candy Crowley, who will moderate this evening’s presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, has a history of support for Planned Parenthood and abortion, according to a compilation put together by the Media Research Center (MRC). 


As moderator, Crowley has the opportunity to exercise bias in tonight’s proceedings in a powerful, unseen way: she will select the questions the candidates must answer.

According to an analysis performed by MRC, since the first town hall debate in 1992 moderators have selected liberal questions over conservative questions by a margin of two-to-one.

In 2008, Tom Brokaw chose three left-leaning questions and zero conservative or pro-McCain questions.

The only exception to this trend was ABC’s Charles Gibson, who chose an evenly balanced set of eight questions from each viewpoint when George W. Bush and John Kerry debated in 2004. 

In the lead-up to tonight’s debate, both the Obama and Romney camps have clashed with Crowley, a veteran reporter, because she has indicated she will ignore the debate’s ground rules and ask follow-up questions. But while Crowley’s moderating style is still an open question, her history suggests that she is decidedly more sympathetic to the Democratic contender when it comes to social issues.

Crowley asked Congressman Steve King last year if cutting the half-billion-dollar annual subsidy to Planned Parenthood from the federal budget might be “‘penny wise and pound foolish.”

“Would you worry that, by cutting off those services, people…would have sicker babies, or certain people…wouldn’t have HIV testing?” she asked while hosting “The Situation Room.”

Crowley also worried for the future of American liberty when Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, who formulated the legal reasoning behind the Roe v. Wade decision, retired from the court in 1990. Crowley said, “Also at risk in a court without Brennan: the limits of individual freedom.”

After the Republican Party first adopted its pro-life plank in 2000, Crowley interviewed then-New York Governor George Pataki. “You and others who are for abortion rights in the Republican Party were frozen out of the platform,” she said. “What does that say, if anything, about compassionate conservatism and the broad tent?”

At the time Media Research Center Chairman Brent Bozell noted that if Crowley were even-handed, she should have asked pro-life Democrats why they were “frozen out” of their party’s platform and, increasingly, out of their party.

The Romney campaign has also drawn attention to Crowley’s comment that the selection of Paul Ryan as vice president represented “some sort of ticket death wish.

Others have brought up her statement to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in May that “most people do look at Republicans going, ‘They’re a conservative bunch of white guys who want to protect Big Oil.’”

Yet such comments hardly rank among the most offensive of the prestige media.

Tim Graham of Newsbusters wrote, “Of the four liberal-media moderators selected by both parties at the Commission for Presidential Debates, CNN’s Candy Crowley is the fairest.”

The second presidential debate has risen to new importance after the first presidential debate changed the direction of the election.

The debate begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time.