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Anderson Cooper Brings Up Ellen DeGeneres and George Bush at Democratic Debate

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper

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.

Cooper asked:

"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."

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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.