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ABC News said Wednesday that chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, World News Tonight anchor David Muir, correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos will moderate the network’s Democratic candidate debate next month.
The debate, to be held in Houston, will take only one night unless more than 10 Democratic candidates qualify. As it currently stands, 10 candidates have qualified to participate.
“For the two-night scenario, ABC News in accordance with the DNC will hold a selection event on Aug. 29 to randomly assign the candidates to a night,” the network said. (Dubbed “The Draw,” CNN turned the network’s candidate selection process into an hour of primetime programming last month.)
The Democratic debaters will get one minute and 15 seconds for direct responses to questions and 45 seconds for rebuttals.
The participation of Stephanopoulos, a former White House communications director during Bill Clinton’s presidency, could draw the ire of political conservatives, who also castigated NBC’s decision to include MSNBC host Rachel Maddow as a debate co-moderator in June.
But Stephanopoulos, who recently signed a four-year contract extension, is the heart of the network’s 2020 coverage plans.
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