CNN anchor Anderson Cooper called out Donald Trump on his show Tuesday night after the Republican presidential candidate accused him of lobbing “softballs” during the first Democratic debate.
Cooper noted that Trump praised his “tough” and “firm” moderating the day after the CNN debate last month. He then played a clip from Tuesday afternoon, when Trump said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t get tough enough questions at the event.
“Hillary Clinton was given all softballs. I mean, she wasn’t asked one tough question,” Trump declared.
Cooper seemed puzzled.
“Not one tough question, he said,” the anchor reiterated. “Now, keeping him honest, he’s actually right. We didn’t ask Hillary Clinton one tough question. We actually asked her a lot more than that. Here are a few examples.”
Cooper then played a rapid-fire highlight reel of him grilling Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, at the debate.
Watch Cooper firing back at Trump below:
The Cooper questions:
- “You were against same-sex marriage, now you’re for it. You defended President Obama’s immigration policies, now you say they’re too harsh. You supported his trade deal dozens of times, you even called it ‘the gold standard,’ now suddenly last week you’re against it. Will you say anything to get elected?”
- “You are going to be testifying before Congress next week about your emails. For the last eight months, you haven’t been able to put this issue behind you. You dismissed it. You joked about it. You called it a mistake. What does that say about your ability to handle far more crises as president?”
- “In all candor, you and your husband are part of the 1%. How can you credibly represent the views of the middle class?”
- “You spearheaded the ‘reset’ with Russia. Did you underestimate the Russians? And as president, what would your response to Vladimir Putin be right now in Syria?”
- “What would you do for African-Americans in this country that President Obama couldn’t?”
- “Do you change your political identity based on who you’re talking to?”
To be fair, Trump clarified what he meant during a contentious Wednesday morning interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. Trump said he was simply comparing the Democrats’ CNN debate to last week’s widely-criticised CNBC Republican debate.
At the CNBC event, Trump’s first question was about whether he was running a ridiculous, “comic-book” presidential campaign. A moderator stated in a follow-up that Trump would have a better chance at “flying away from that podium by flapping your arms” than balancing the deficit with his tax plan.
“I thought Anderson Cooper did a great job,” Trump told Cuomo. “But they weren’t tough like [ours]. And ours weren’t even questions. They were statements given over by the moderators.”
NOW WATCH: GOP candidates attacked CNBC moderators for trying to turn the debate into a ‘cage match’
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
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