Chris Wallace directly acknowledged, on Fox News, that Donald Trump ruined Tuesday night’s debate.
Wallace discussed the matter on Bill Hemmer Reports today:
WALLACE: It became clearer and clearer over time that this was something different and that the president was determined to try to butt in and throw Joe Biden off. You gave your statistics. I saw another Fox analysis that indicates the president interrupted either Biden’s answers or my questions a total of 145 times which is way more than one a minute. And he bears the primary responsibility for what happened on Tuesday night.
I am glad Wallace spoke plainly of Trump’s misbehavior. I criticized Wallace for ducking the issue with The New York Times, in an earlier post. Maybe he just needed more time to process before he was ready to speak.
There was also this:
HEMMER: In the moment, did you think to yourself, this is a mess, or did you think I can get this back on track?
WALLACE: Well, your initial thought is that the president is interrupting too often. But I’m doing Fox News Sunday, my thought is when two people are talking, you can’t hear either of them.
So I kept trying to get the president to stop and let Biden finish his answer, and let them go back and forth and then it kept escalating.
So you know, in the beginning I was cajoling. Mr. President, wait a minute. I’m going to ask a question that you’re going to want to hear. I guess I did that twice.
Wallace was in a difficult situation that plenty of others would probably not have handled better. But it was not his place to cajole Trump. It's another example of the Fox News roots I warned would show in the debate and did.
Still, I feel for him, especially after hearing this:
WALLACE: The frustration here, Bill, is this. That here was my debate book. And literally hundreds of man hours and woman hours between me and my researcher went into trying to prepare a serious, substantive debate, and on so many issues: Biden’s tax and spending plan. Trump’s climate and environmental policies. You know, I was really hoping for the debate that I think America wanted to see which was a serious exchange of views.
And, you know, I felt like I had gotten together all of the ingredients, I had baked this beautiful, delicious cake and then, frankly, the president put his foot in it. And that was frustrating.
The problem is, Trump can’t debate and probably has no interest in a serious discussion. He only wants to perform. Ditto for being president.
Not that Trump-sycophant Bill Hemmer was going to say anything like that. His big disappointment was that Trump didn’t give Biden a chance to sink himself:
HEMMER: The analogy that I drew was Joe Biden was about to dive off a diving board into a poll and the president pulled him back and kept them on dry land.
You can watch it below, from the October 1, 2020 Bill Hemmer Reports.