Hewitt defends questions Trump objected to
Hewitt asked the GOP presidential front-runner whether he was familiar with the leaders of several prominent terrorist organizations “without a scorecard,” which Trump referred to as “gotcha” questions.
“ ‘Gotcha’ questions, which I don’t think are fair, are tricks to attempt to embarrass people,” Hewitt said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on Friday. “I provided the name of Gen. [Qasem] Soleimani, I talked about the other people, I didn’t ask him for names and I didn’t ask for groups.”
“And so, I don’t think a ‘gotcha’ question that doesn’t quiz you is a ‘gotcha’ question,” he added.
Hewitt will be part of the moderating team in the second GOP primary debate Sept. 16 on CNN, along with Tapper.
Hewitt told The Huffington Post that Trump’s criticisms “won’t change my debate questions or prep.”
The radio host said his questions were meant to shed light on Trump’s qualifications for the role of commander in chief.
“It’s up for us to ask questions that illume, and I think yesterday’s conversation did, and the debate will, a week from Wednesday, illume for those voters what these candidates will do if they’re the commander in chief in wartime,” Hewitt said.
“There is no animus to Donald Trump or any of those people who come on the show,” he added.
Trump called Hewitt’s questions “somewhat ridiculous” during the interview and later called the radio show host “third-rate.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), also a presidential contender, called the businessman’s answers “very concerning.”
“If you don’t know the answer to these questions, then you are not going to be able to serve as commander in chief,” Rubio said during a campaign stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday.
Trump previously went after Fox News host Megyn Kelly repeatedly for asking what he perceived to be unfair questions during the first GOP primary debate.