Former talk show host Anderson Cooper moderated the CNN/New York Times October 15 Democratic presidential debate. The journalist ended the evening with a question about Ellen DeGeneres and the comedian's controversial bond with George W. Bush.
"Last week, Ellen DeGeneres was criticized after she and former President George W. Bush were seen laughing together at a football game. Ellen defended their friendship[...] So in that spirit, we’d like you to tell us about a friendship that you’ve had that would surprise us and what impacts it’s had on you and your beliefs."
The candidates handled the question diplomatically. Senator Kamala Harris discussed her cross-aisle friendship with Senator Rand Paul, while former Veep Joe Biden name-checked the late Senator John McCain (dad to The View co-host Meghan McCain).
Once off-stage, candidates, journalists, and viewers alike reflected on the appropriateness of Cooper's final question.
A few DeGeneres pals, including Maria Shriver, piped up on social media in support of Ellen.