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Chris Wallace calls the debate “a terrible missed opportunity”



Do you want to elaborate? “No,” said Mr. Wallace. “To quote the president, ‘It is what it is.'”

In the spotlight, Mr. Wallace was keenly aware of the complexity of his task: ensuring a balanced debate, avoiding taking sides, allowing candidates to express themselves while maintaining the discussion on the merits.

“You’re reluctant – like someone who said from the start that I wanted to be as invisible as possible and allow them to talk – to get to the point where you start intervening more and more,”

; said Mr. Wallace said. “First of all say:” Please don’t interrupt “, then” Please obey the rules “, and third:” This is not serving the country well. “These are all difficult passages in real time, stage.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates said Wednesday that it will look into changes to the format of this year’s remaining meetings between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, a clear sign of its frustration with Tuesday night’s results. The commission also pledged to praise Mr. Wallace for his “professionalism and skill”.

The suggestion to give moderators the power to mute candidates’ microphones – popular on social media in the hours following the event – didn’t sit well with Wallace.

“In practice, even if the president’s microphone had been closed, it could still have continued to interrupt it, and it could have been picked up by Biden’s microphone, and that would still have disrupted courtroom work,” he said. .

And he noted that interrupting a presidential candidate’s audio feed is a more consequential act than some experts give him credit for. “People have to remember, and too many forget, both of these candidates have the support of tens of millions of Americans,” he said.

C-SPAN’s Steve Scully will moderate the next debate, in a town hall format where Florida voters will ask many of the questions. Kristen Welker of NBC News is the moderator of the final debate. Mr. Wallace’s advice: “If either one goes down this road, I hope you understand what’s going on before me. I didn’t have that advance warning.”


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