CNN's Anderson Cooper will moderate the first Democratic presidential debate this week, and unlike the previous Republican debate hosted by CNN, Cooper said he won't be encouraging confrontations between the candidates.

"I'm always uncomfortable with that notion of setting people up in order to kind of promote some sort of a face off," Cooper said Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "Look, these are all serious people. This is a serious debate. They want to talk about the issues and I want to give them an opportunity to do that."

Cooper's suggested style is a departure from the GOP debate hosted by CNN and moderated by Jake Tapper in September.

Before that debate, Tapper had said he was "trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other."

Cooper said Sunday, though, that the Republican field has been different from the Democratic field in that many of the GOP candidates have sought to pick fights with one another and "wanted to punch up and try and make a name for themselves."

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders "has been very clear," Cooper said. "He's not going to go after [front-runner] Hillary Clinton by name, he's not going to criticize her. And I see no reason that Hillary Clinton would do that with any of the candidates."

The Democratic takes place on Tuesday.

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