While February’s CNN-Telemundo Republican debate had almost as many moderators as candidates on stage, Sunday’s debate hosted by CNN will be moderated by just one anchor, Anderson Cooper. The Flint, Michigan, debate, hosted by CNN in partnership with the Flint Journal and MLive.com, will also have CNN anchor Don Lemon and chief political correspondent Dana Bash asking questions.
Cooper moderated a Democratic debate in October and earned high praise for his handling of the candidates. He asked the candidates about weak spots in their platforms, such as Hillary Clinton’s changing political identity and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ support from the National Rifle Association.
“This debate is an opportunity to elevate the very serious issues facing the residents of Flint, and it’s also an opportunity to remind voters what Democratic leadership can do for the economy — so that everyone in America has a fair shot,” DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told MLive.com.
Flint has been thrust into the national spotlight in the wake of a scandal that developed following the discovery its water contained high levels of lead and poisoned thousands of city residents. Justice groups Wednesday said the focus of Sunday’s debate should be on “environmental racism,” which pertains to the theory minorities and the poor are more likely to be exposed to environmental problems.
“The Democratic Party has an opportunity to use [its] platform to elevate this necessary conversation, putting the voices of those most impacted front and center and hopefully building greater momentum for change,” Rashad Robinson, executive director of the Oakland, California, racial justice group Color of Change, said in a statement.
— MLive (@MLive) March 1, 2016
Both Clinton and Sanders have addressed the Flint crisis, with the latter saying Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder should resign because of his indifference to the crisis. Clinton made a stop in Flint in February to say she stood with the city in its attempt to get clean drinking water.