Anderson Cooper first gay man to moderate US Presidential debate

  • 04/09/2016
CNN presenter Anderson Cooper (Reuters)
CNN presenter Anderson Cooper (Reuters)

By Chris Holden

CNN presenter Anderson Cooper will be the first openly gay man to moderate a United States presidential debate.

Yesterday the Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed Mr Cooper as part of the line-up of moderators.

Mr Cooper, 49, hosted a number of debates during the primaries, but he will be the first openly gay man in United States history tasked with putting questions from the American public directly to presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Such debates will be an opportunity for American media to directly question Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who hasn't held a press conference in 274 days.  

The first debate will be held on September 26 in New York, and will be moderated by Lester Holt of NBC.

Mr Cooper will take the stage in Missouri on October 9. Half the questions will be submitted by uncommitted voters in the audience.

The rules stipulate that candidates will have two minutes to answer the question, but moderators can use an additional minute to further the conversation.

In 2012 more than 67 million Americans tuned in to watch the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Similar numbers are expected this year. A CNN poll recently found 25 percent of Americans remain undecided who they will vote for on November 8.