Chris Wallace Does Some 'Soul-Searching'

The 'Fox News Sunday' anchor talks about moderating the presidential debate
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2020 7:04 PM CDT
Updated Oct 1, 2020 12:41 AM CDT
Chris Wallace Does Some 'Soul-Searching'
Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News during the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

It's "soul-searching" time for Chris Wallace. The Fox News Sunday anchor admits he struggled to moderate last night's presidential debate—a contentious affair that one pundit called "two old men shouting at each other"—but he isn't apologizing or taking all the blame. "I've read some of the reviews. I know people think, well, gee, I didn't jump in soon enough," Wallace tells the New York Times in a voice still hoarse from 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." For more:

  • "I thought this was great—this is a debate!" Wallace says of the moment when President Trump first spoke straight to Joe Biden. But as Trump kept interrupting, Wallace got worried. Then came "desperation." He says he "never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did."
  • "You're reluctant—as somebody who has said from the very beginning that I wanted to be as invisible as possible, and to enable them to talk—to rise to the point at which you begin to interject more and more. First to say, 'Please don’t interrupt,' then 'Please obey the rules,' and third, 'This isn't serving the country well.'"
  • Should the president's microphone be cut off if he interrupts next time? "People have to remember, and too many people forget, both of these candidates have the support of tens of millions of Americans."
  • "Generally speaking, I did as well as I could, so I don't have any second thoughts there. I'm just disappointed with the results."
  • "To quote the president, 'It is what it is.'"
(The Commission on Presidential Debates is mulling changes for the next debate.)

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