Who Are the Democratic Debate Moderators? Anderson Cooper, Marc Lacey and Erin Burnett Host in Ohio

Twelve of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will take to the debate stage Tuesday night in the fourth debate thus far during this primary season. CNN's Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett along with the New York Time's Marc Lacey have been tasked with moderating the largest presidential primary debate in recorded history, according to the Times.

Moderating a presidential debate is quickly becoming second nature for Cooper, the veteran CNN reporter and host of the nightly news show Anderson Cooper 360. While this is the first official debate he's moderated this season, he's been a frequent moderator during past primary debates, both Republican and Democratic. In addition to debates, Cooper has also hosted many presidential town halls for the network, most recently the LGBTQ Equality Forum last Thursday.

Outside of primary debates, Cooper made history in 2016 when he became the first openly gay person to moderate a presidential debate. He co-moderated the second presidential debate of the general election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Who Are the Democratic Debate Moderators? Anderson Cooper, Marc Lacey and Erin Burnett Host in Ohio
Anderson Cooper attends the Sean Penn CORE Gala benefiting the organization formerly known as J/P HRO & its life-saving work across Haiti & the world at The Wiltern on January 5, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Kovac/Getty Images for CORE, formerly J/P HRO

This is the first presidential debate for both Burnett and Lacey.

Burnett is best known for her CNN nightly news show Erin Burnett OutFront. Previously with NBC News, Burnett made a few appearances on The Celebrity Apprentice as an advisor to Donald Trump. She joined CNN in 2011.

Lacey, currently the National editor for the Times, has been with the paper for more than 20 years. In the past he's served as a foreign correspondent and the paper's White House correspondent.

In an interview with the Times published Monday, Lacey described the moment he got the call to moderate the debate.

"My phone rang one recent night," he said. "I ignored it. It rang again. I ignored it again. The same call and no response continued a few more times right in the middle of the last presidential debate, which I was watching from home. It turned out that it was Patrick Healy, our political editor, who had just learned that The New York Times would be co-sponsoring the next debate with CNN. Apparently there had been a meeting among the top Times brass in which various people were proposed for the Times moderator role. When Pat asked me, I chuckled. It turns out he wasn't joking."

Tuesday's debate is the second time CNN has hosted a primary debate this year and the first time the Times has hosted a primary debate in more than 10 years.

The twelve candidates who met the DNC criteria required to take part in the debate are Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.

The candidates who didn't qualify for the debate are Sen. Michael Bennet, Marianne Williamson, former Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Tim Ryan, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam and former Rep. Joe Sestak.

The debate will simultaneously air on CNN, CNN.com and the Times homepage on Tuesday, October 15 at 8 pm ET.

Who Are the Democratic Debate Moderators? Anderson Cooper, Marc Lacey and Erin Burnett Host in Ohio | U.S.