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Alex Trebek responds to criticism after Pennsylvania debate

'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek is criticized for poor performance as moderator of Pennsylvania governor's debate


by Robb Hanrahan

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHP) — The only debate between the candidates for Pennsylvania governor ended last night – with a lot of focus on the moderator – not the candidates.

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek accepted the honor of moderating the debate, and then took some harsh criticism for his performance that some say took the focus away from Gov. Tom Wolf and Scott Wagner.

Trebek graciously took the heat for his debate moderating skills, but says he studied Pennsylvania politics for months preparing for the debate.

Critics came out swinging, accusing him of making the debate all about Trebek and not the candidates.

"I think it was a learning experience for me. I was too naive going into this," said Trebek. "I mentioned to the audience that I wasn’t a fan of the traditional debate formats where the candidates stand behind a lectern and they get a minute and a half to respond. I thought a conversation would work better….it didn’t.”

Even though his unique approach didn’t work, Trebek maintained his sense of humor.

“I look at it this way: Would they have preferred I went into this totally clueless and not being able to challenge the candidates when they said something that was not true?" Trebek said this supporter before this debate you are still a Wolf supporter. If you were a Trebek supporter before the debate, that one may be questionable," he joked.

Despite all the criticism, Trebek can at least say he's checked another thing off his bucket list.

“I expected some criticism, I did not expect it to be this severe and this personal, but hey, it’s an item that is now off my bucket list.”

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