Chris Wallace Says He Is ‘Disappointed’ With How the First Debate Turn Out

The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is being panned as a “trainwreck” and an “embarrassment.”

In an interview with The New York Times the day after the debate, Fox News’ Chris Wallace opened up about how he felt things with him as the moderator, “I’m just sad with the way last night turned out.”

He also called the spectacle a “terrible missed opportunity” and said he “never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did.”

Wallace said after reading some of the commentaries about his handling of the debate and noted that some said he should have gotten involved earlier to reel in the debate, “I guess I didn’t realize — and there was no way you could, hindsight being 20/20 — that this was going to be the president’s strategy, not just for the beginning of the debate but the entire debate.”

Wallace said he thought the debate was going well at the beginning — specifically Trump’s initial exchanges with Biden — but he said he grew worried that the debate would “go completely off the tracks” if he did not regain control, which he does not know if he actually accomplished.

“I’m a pro. I’ve never been through anything like this,” he added.

When asked if Trump was responsible for the debate chaos, Wallace said, “He certainly didn’t help.”

He added that he did not want to interject, at first, because his initial goal for moderating the debate was to be “as invisible as possible.”

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. Morry Gash/Pool via REUTERS

Wallace was also asked about the suggestion that Trump’s microphone should have been cut-off when the president tried to interrupt Biden. But, Wallace said Trump probably would have been picked up on Biden’s microphone, and it would not have been effective.

Additionally, he noted it would run the risk of upsetting Trump’s base. 

“Generally speaking, I did as well as I could, so I don’t have any second thoughts there,” Wallace said, adding, “I’m just disappointed with the results. For me, but much more importantly, I’m disappointed for the country, because it could have been a much more useful evening than it turned out to be.”

After the raucous event, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD announced that is “carefully considering” changes to future debates to add “additional structure,” as IJR reported.

However, the CPD did say it is “grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate.”

Responses

  1. ed, did we watch the same debate?

    Wallace gave the cry baby all sorts of leeway, at the beginning. He tried to catch up later, but the baby was already off his leash.

  2. Wallace hopefully will be missed permanantly soon. He showed his lack of impartiality from the start.

  3. “never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did.” Wallace

    Oh, come on, Chris. You of all people should have been prepared for a spectacle. You have interviewed His Majesty enough times, to have seen how he tries to dominate any conversation, to have been able to see that coming.

    “I’m disappointed for the country” Wallace

    Under this administration, the country always loses.

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