Here’s What Gayle King Plans To Ask As A Moderator At The South Carolina Debate

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR.
It’s one week until Super Tuesday, and all eyes are on South Carolina for the tenth Democratic debate. Last week, after Sen. Elizabeth Warren roasted Michael Bloomberg over his comments about women, the race suddenly became a heated battle of who is fit to even run for President. Now, the candidates have another opportunity to go head-to-head, though they are not the only ones in the spotlight this time around. Gayle King, who recently faced her own month-long professional controversy, will act as one of the key debate moderators in South Carolina.
Earlier this month, King sat down with WNBA star Lisa Leslie for an interview following the untimely and tragic death of Kobe Bryant. During the interview, King asked about Bryant's complicated past, referring to his 2003 arrest for sexual assault. As a result, King reportedly began receiving death threats. Ultimately, CBS News stood behind King and network President Susan Zirinsky released a public statement saying, “We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist.”
Now, King is shifting her attention away form the controversy and on to a much larger subject of news: the election. According to an interview with CBS Newspath on Monday, King is prepared to tackle some big issues in South Carolina and ask some demanding questions of the Democratic candidates.
“I’ve been here since Friday and have spent a lot of time talking to voters and I’m so surprised to see how many people have not made up their minds," King said. "You’re in South Carolina, you’ve been following this for a year, really.” 
King addressed the divisions within the Democratic party and how serious the issue is going into Primary season. Still, she said she plans — at least in part — to ask questions that voters and constituents are demanding answers to. “Everybody has lots of ideas but at the end of the day, you only have two hours," she said. "At the top of the list, certainly here in South Carolina has been income inequality. That’s on a lot of people’s minds so I know we’ll address that in some form or another."
King's plan to bring up income inequality is particularly significant to voters in this state. South Carolina is in the top 20 states with the highest levels of income inequality, ranking at number 19. According to Data USA, the state has approximately 5 million people, a poverty rate of 16.6% and the income inequality rate lower than the national average. Men also reportedly make approximately 1.35 times more than women employees, or a difference of about $15,000. Most workers, in general, are making below $60,000 a year, with the median household income at $52,306.
Rounding the interview off, King said she understands that people “really, really care” about the debates and there’s no point in asking “goofy questions” that don’t explicitly matter to voters. “We’re really looking for something that people are really, legitimately concerned about — questions that are thoughtful and smart.” 
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