Hewitt, 59, the host of the The Hugh Hewitt Show on the Salem Radio Network, which is sponsoring the debate along with CNN. Hewitt and Bash will be asking the 11 GOP candidates questions during the main debate, which begins at 8 p.m. Eastern. Tapper, Hewitt and Bash will also be questioning the four candidates taking part in the early debate at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Here’s what you need to know about Hewitt:
1. He Clashed With Donald Trump During an Interview on His Radio Show
Hewitt and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump clashed when Trump was interviewed by Hewitt on his radio show on September 3. Trump accused Hewitt of asking “gotcha” questions about foreign policy.
Trump bashed Hewitt, saying on Twitter, “Very low ratings radio host Hugh Hewitt asked me about Suleiman, Abu Bake al-Baghdad, Hassan Nasrallah and more – typical ‘gotcha” questions'” and “Why would a very low ratings radio talk show host like Hugh Hewitt be doing the next debate on @CNN. He is just a 3rd rate ‘gotcha’ guy!”
Hewitt later told MSNBC’s Morning Joe he was at fault:
I’ve done 40 interviews with Republican presidential candidates since the last debate, and the only bump was with Donald Trump and that’s because it was my fault. I framed the question wrong. I said ‘you’re familiar with General Soleimani and the Quds Force.’ I should have said, ‘As you know, General Soleimani, runs the Quds Force in Iran,’ and then gone on to my question, which is, what is the impact of giving him $100 billion? So I think it’s important never to play jeopardy with names and I never do. I always give the predicate.
Hewitt told CNN that Trump is “the best interview in America.”
2. He Was Born in Ohio & Graduated from Harvard
Hewitt was raised in Ohio and went on to attend Harvard University, graduating with a degree in government in 1978.
He also graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1983.
3. He Worked for Presidents Nixon & Reagan
Hewitt spent time after college working as a ghostwriter for Richard Nixon in California and New York. After graduating from law school, Hewitt held many positions in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, including as deputy director and general counsel of the Office of Personnel Management, general counsel for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Assistant White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the Attorney General, according to the American Presidency Project.
Hewitt generated controversy when he oversaw the construction of the Nixon library in California in 1989. He proposed screening the researchers who wanted to use the library resources, saying he would refuse admission to “unfriendly” researchers, like Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who he called “not a responsible journalist,” according to a 1990 Los Angeles Times article. His plans were later overturned by former Nixon chief of staff John Taylor, who took over as the library’s director.
4. He Has Hosted His Nightly Nationally Syndicated Radio Show Since 2000
Hewitt began hosting The Hugh Hewitt Show on the Salem Radio Network in 2000, according to his website. On the daily, nationally syndicated show, which has more than 2 million listeners a week, he “has conducted groundbreaking interviews with government officials from both parties and widely respected analysts, authors and pundits.”
5. He Lives With His Wife in California & Also Works as a Law School Professor
Hewitt and his wife, Betsy, live in Orange County, California.
In addition to hosting his radio show, Hewitt teaches constitutional law at the Chapman University Law School, according to his website. He has taught there since the school opened in 1995.