Bob Schieffer on Debate Criticism: ‘This Is Their Campaign’

Bob Schieffer, the CBS host who moderated the last presidential debate, defended the education policy tangent he allowed the candidates to go down

Bob Schieffer, who earned generally high marks for his handling of Monday's presidential debate, rejected criticism that he let the candidates stray from foreign policy.

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In an interview with CBS This Morning, Shieffer defended the decision to let the candidates talk about education, among other issues. He cited Gen. Stanley McChrystal's statement that "education is the basis for our national security."

"I was a little bit surprised about the fact that both really did want to talk about economic issues," Schieffer, the host of CBS's Face The Nation, said. "I let that run for a while, then I tried to get them back on foreign policy … But this is their campaign."

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Schieffer praised both candidates' performances, and said both were "qualified to be President of the United States."

"This is going to be very close, it's going to go right down to the wire," he said.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was among those who wasn't impressed. He criticized Schieffer and the other presidential moderators for being too passive and not "pressing the issues" and "holding the candidates' feet to the fire."

Watch Schieffer: