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OCT
12
2 YEARS

Moderator Martha Raddatz on the Debate: 'You Try to React to What They're Saying'

The ABC News correspondent, who won praise as the debate moderator, says "I was a little surprised that I got in as many follow-ups."

Martha Raddatz - VP debate - H 2012
Getty Images

Unlike presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer, ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz was greeted on Friday morning with mostly praise from pundits for her role as moderator between a fiery veep Joe Biden and wonky Rep. Paul Ryan. 

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And in a post-debate self-analysis, Raddatz indicated that she wanted to be active during the candidate's discussion. "I think I was a little surprised that I got in as many follow-ups," she said on Good Morning America.

"You try to listen and you try to react to what they're saying. Sure, I had a lot of follow-ups written, I had a lot of questions written. But when you're there and you're in the moment you really have to go with what's happening," Raddatz explained.

Her approach to moderation was the exact opposite of presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer, the former PBS Newshour host. Lehrer was pilloried for getting steamrolled by the candidates and not moving the discussion from topic to topic effectively. 

Raddatz was also asked what it was like to see the candidates in such close proximity to each other. "It felt way more personal just because of that intimate setting" of Ryan and Biden seated at the same table, she noted.

 STORY: ABC News' Martha Raddatz Wins Praise as Veep Debate Moderator

Raddatz began the debate proceedings personably, telling a story about her cell phone ringing playing Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty" during a White House meeting. 

Even the rapper chimed in that he appreciated the shout-out. "Can't lie. That just made my night. Appreciate it," he wrote on Twitter last night.