Jake Tapper, CNN Debate Moderator: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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CNN anchor Jake Tapper will moderate the second Republican primary debate. (Getty)

CNN anchor Jake Tapper will be the moderator of the second Republican primary debate on Wednesday, September 16.

Tapper, 46, is the host of The Lead with Jake Tapper and State of the Union. Tapper will moderate both the early debate at 6 p.m. Eastern and the main debate at 8 p.m. Eastern, both on CNN.

CNN’s chief political correspondent Dana Bash and Salem Radio host Hugh Hewitt will also be asking questions during the debate.

Here’s what you need to know about Tapper:


1. He Was Raised in Philadelphia & Graduated From Dartmouth College

Jake Tapper, CNN Debate Moderator

Tapper, center right, with fellow CNN anchors Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer and Don Lemon. (Getty)

Jacob “Jake” Tapper was born in New York City and raised in Philadelphia, according to a 2013 Philadelphia Inquirer profile. His mother was a psychiatric nurse at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and his father was the president of South Philadelphia Pediatrics. He was raised in the Jewish faith.

He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in history in 1991.


2. He Began His Career in Journalism at the Washington City Paper


Jake Tapper talks Benghazi and his bookJake Tapper, CNN's new chief Washington correspondent, talks about Hillary Clinton and his book. For more CNN videos, check out youtube.com/cnn or visit our site at cnn.com/video/2013-01-22T22:38:22Z

After college, Tapper worked as the campaign press secretary for Democratic congressional candidate Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, and then served as her congressional press secretary.

His first full-time job in journalism was at the Washington City Paper, where he was hired by the late David Carr. He talked to Media Bistro about his time working for Carr:

It was our first meeting after I had

written a few stories for the Washington City Paper on a freelance basis, he basically convinced me to do what I wanted to do but hadn’t had the guts to do — to take a substantial pay cut and become a journalist. And then for that year-plus I worked for him, he was a one man J-school. I often tell young people seeking to break into the business, ‘Before you go to journalism school, I recommend you start at a small local newspaper.’ That probably overestimates editors in general out there, but I was really lucky that I had this guy who was in the process of becoming a legend as my first editor. I remember the triumphs we shared and I remember the times he yelled at me. I remember what he yelled at me about. It’s all there. And I’m a lucky guy that I fell into his world when I did, because he wasn’t really at City Paper all that long, and neither was I. But I invited him to my wedding. He’s a very important figure in my life.

While at the City Paper, Tapper wrote an article about going on a date with Monica Lewinsky just weeks before the Bill Clinton scandal broke.

After leaving the City Paper, he worked from 1999 to 2002 as the Washington correspondent for Salon.com.


3. He Worked for ABC News Before Moving to CNN in 2012

Jake Tapper

Tapper, while at ABC News, looks at a BlackBerry while holding a copy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate in the Briefing Room of the White House April 27, 2011 (Getty)

In 2003, Tapper transitioned into TV news, joining ABC News, where he worked as Senior White House Correspondent from 2008 until 2012, when he moved on to CNN.

Tapper first worked as chief Washington correspondent at CNN, but weas then given his own show, The Lead With Jake Tapper, in 2013. He now also hosts a Sunday morning show called State of the Union.

In 2012, he wrote a book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, about one of the deadliest battles of the war in Afghanistan.


4. He Is Married & Has 3 Children

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Tapper, with his wife, Jennifer. (Getty)

Tapper married Jennifer Marie Brown in 2006. Jennifer Tapper worked as the regional field manager for Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., when they were married.

They have two children.


5. He Says He Wants the Candidates to ‘Actually Debate’


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Tapper talked about his goals for the debate on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” saying he hopes the candidates will “actually debate”:

What the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other — specific candidates on the stage — on issues where they disagree, whether it’s policy, or politics, or leadership. Let’s actually have them discuss and debate.

Look, they’re going to want to talk to the camera, and they’re going to get out their talking points, but I am going to attempt to get them to address each other and actually debate.


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