Oh, This Ought To Be Real Good… How Much Worse Will This Make Things?
The presidential debate commission says it will soon adopt changes to its format to avoid a repeat of the disjointed first meeting between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
The commission said Wednesday the debate “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”
Moderator Chris Wallace struggled to gain control of the 90-minute debate in Cleveland because of frequent interruptions, primarily by Trump.
The next presidential debate is a town hall format scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
NEW YORK (AP) — For much of the opening presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace looked like a man trying to stop a runaway train with his bare hands.
The contest between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden was chaotic from start to finish. With interruptions and interjections, Trump tried to throw his Democratic opponent off stride. Pleas, increasingly frustrated and loud, were the only tools Wallace had at his disposal to try to maintain control.
“Please let him speak, Mr. President,” Wallace tried more than once. The Fox News host pointed out he was the moderator, that he was the one to ask questions, that he hated to raise his voice but would. He reminded the president that his campaign had agreed to the ground rules.
For much of the time, it was futile.
“Chris Wallace’s debate performance tonight is a great reminder that kindergarten teachers are underpaid,” “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah tweeted in the midst of the 90-minute encounter.
There was near unanimous disgust from commentators after the debate was over. Some, like CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, wondered openly if the two remaining scheduled debates between the two men would actually happen. CBS ran an instant poll of viewers and found 69% considered it annoying and just 17% found it informative.
Twitter was ablaze with complaints that Wallace had lost control, while some defenders wondered whether there was really anything he could do.