CHICAGO -- PBS's Jim Lehrer failed to take control of the first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, former CNN host Larry King said Tuesday night.

"I think Jim might have let it get out of control," King said in an interview here, just before he took the stage to moderate a third-party candidate debate. "He didn't take control," King added.

What about the other two debate moderators? King said CNN's Candy Crowley and CBS News's Bob Schieffer both did a fine job.

"Last night [with CBS News's Bob Schieffer] was fine, Candy Crowley was fine," King said.

King then promptly flubbed his duties as moderator, forgetting to allow the candidates to  make opening statements.

"It was not in my notes about an opening statement, so I apologize. ... I'm a Jewish guy from Brooklyn; we do what we're told," King said.