Reacting to previous night’s chaotic presidential debate, Chris Wallace said on Wednesday that it was “a terrible missed opportunity” that “went off the tracks,” the Daily Mail reports.
Immediately after the debate, he revealed that he received a glass of champagne from Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch while waiting at the airport for his flight home from Cleveland. He admitted he didn’t feel like much celebrating because of how the event turned out.
The mainstream media and the Democrats, including Biden’s campaign, blamed President Donald Trump for the “messy” and “horrible” debate of two older gentlemen who are seeking for the most powerful position in the United States. Biden’s supporters condemned Trump’s many interruptions, while ignoring Biden’s remarks, such as ‘racist,’ ‘the worst president ever,’ ‘clown,’ and ‘shut up man.’ For the conservatives, the former vice president did not show a little respect to the commander-in-chief of the country.
Trump, who held a rally in Minnesota the next day after the debate, expressed his disappointment with Fox News and complained, “I was debating two people last night.”
In an interview with New York Times, which the Republicans tag as biased for always tainting a bad image for the president, Wallace said, “I never dreamt it would go off the tracks the way it did,” adding that it was a “terrible missed opportunity.”
NY Times reports:
In his first interview since the chaotic and often incoherent spectacle — in which a pugilistic Mr. Trump relentlessly interrupted opponent and moderator alike — Mr. Wallace conceded that he had been slow to recognize that the president was not going to cease flouting the debate’s rules.
“I’ve read some of the reviews. I know people think, well, gee, I didn’t jump in soon enough,” Mr. Wallace said, his voice betraying some hoarseness from the previous night’s proceedings. “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.”
Recalling his thoughts as he sat onstage in the Cleveland hall, with tens of millions of Americans watching live, Mr. Wallace said: “I’m a pro. I’ve never been through anything like this.”
Wallace also said, the debate left him feeling ‘desperate’ at times because he is not sure if he ever really controlled it. He disclosed he’s sad of how the evening turned out because he thought it was starting great in the beginning. “I’m just sad with the way last night turned out.”
Wallace believed, on the issue of muting microphones: “As a practical matter, even if the president’s microphone had been shut, he still could have continued to interrupt.”
The Fox News anchor not only received criticisms from Trump supporters, but also from his colleagues in the network and other mainstream media journalists, though they all blamed the president more.
Among those are his fellows Laura Ingraham, Greg Gutfeld and Brian Kilmeade. CNN’s Dana Bash labeled the debate as a ‘s**t show’, while her fellow host Jake Tapper described it as ‘a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck’.
Despite the event’s results, FOX Media executives praised Wallace for his performance.
“We’d like to take a moment to thank and congratulate Chris Wallace for moderating last night’s extraordinary debate,” they said.
“We are extremely proud of his professionalism, skill and fortitude in a unique situation while doing everything possible to hold both candidates accountable. No moderator could have managed a debate of that magnitude better than Chris.”
Wallace concluded, “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.”