Posted by Curt on 13 November, 2015 at 11:02 am. 4 comments already!



This Saturday’s second Democratic debate will be a much smaller affair than the first. With only three candidates on stage, CBS News plans to delve deep into the issues with each candidate and have taken advantage of the smaller pool by doing some intense research.

Moderator John Dickerson and his team met with each of three campaigns for over an hour to discuss the major issues at play in the race, sources on the campaigns said, describing the pre-interview as “informational in nature.”

Prior to the CNN debate, the campaigns said moderator Anderson Cooper did not reach out directly to them before the candidates took the stage.

“[Dickerson] and his team were very interested in getting to better know the senator’s stand on a wide spectrum of issues, what he would do about income inequality in this country,” said Bernie Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs. He said they discussed issues where there are real differences between the candidates — including gun control, the death penalty and raising taxes on the middle class. “John Dickerson’s a smart, impressive guy who cares a lot about the issues,” Briggs said. “I’m sure we’ll see a smart, issues oriented debate.”

A CBS News official said that Dickerson’s outreach to the campaigns was the same type of research he conducts for his weekly show “Face the Nation.” The official said Dickerson talked to three dozen people and organizations beyond the campaigns to “immerse himself” in the issues.

Alongside Dickerson will be CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes; Kevin Cooney, anchor for KCCI-TV, the local CBS affiliate; and Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich.

“Our goal is to ask the candidates questions that help to illuminate for primary voters their differences on key issues — the way they would work to make life better for average Americans. So we’re going to be focusing, as we’ve always planned, on the issues that people care about,” Cordes said.

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