Fox News anchor, Chris Wallace was criticized for interrupting President Trump during the first presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden. He defended himself on Thursday, saying that Trump ruined his plans for a “substantive” discussion.
He appeared on Fox News’ Bill Hemmer Reports and told the host that he thought the night had started off well after Biden and Trump both answered the first questions they were asked. But according to him, starting from that point, things got out of control.
“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,” Wallace said. He cited a Fox analysis “that indicates the president interrupted either Biden’s answers or my questions a total of 145 times.”
Wallace said the president “bears the primary responsibility for what happened on Tuesday,” adding that Trump interrupted Biden more than twice as many times as Biden interrupted him.
Wallace explained how he tried to keep the debate under control before saying, “Literally, hundreds of man hours and woman hours between me and my researcher went in to try to prepare a substantive debate and on so many issues — Biden’s tax and spending plans, Trump’s climate and environmental policies.”
“You know, I was really hoping for the debate that I think America wanted to see,” he added, “which was a serious exchange of views.”
Wallace then compared his efforts to a cake, telling Hemmer, “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.”
Wallace has been criticized for not doing a better job as the moderator to control the 90-minute debate between Trump and Biden. The 90 minutes was full of interruptions by both sides.
Wallace told the New York Times the day after the first presidential debate, “Generally speaking, I did as well as I could, so I don’t have any second thoughts there.”
He continued, “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.”