Chris Wallace defends job done as debate moderator

Chris Wallace, the host of FOX News Sunday and the moderator of this week's contentious debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, says he's disappointed with the way the debate turned out.

"I'm not beating myself up, I wouldn't say, but disappointed," Wallace told FOX 5 NY morning program, 'Good Day New York.'

Trump and Biden faced off Tuesday night often interrupting each other while sharing different visions for the country. Wallace struggled during the 90-minute debate in Cleveland to try to maintain control of the conversation amid frequent interruptions and hurling of insults. He occasionally cut short answers or discussions that had a chance of being productive in a seeming bid to end the bickering and move on.

"My researcher and I had spent literally hundreds of hours preparing for a serious substantive debate I think the country wanted on the issues," said Wallace. "There was plenty to drill down on: economics social security, the budget, the environment, law and order, race, the economy, and we didn't get to a lot of that because of the interruptions primarily on the part of the president."

On Wednesday, the Commission for Presidential Debates, said 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.”

One of those options is to give moderators the ability to mute the speaker's microphone.

"I think on a practical level it's not going to make much of a difference because the two men are only about eight feet apart from each other so even if you muted one person's microphone you would still pick it up from the other's," said Wallace. "It would still be heard in the hall so there would still be the disruption. If one is interrupting the other it still disrupts but more importantly on a principled level- do you want to tell a moderator I'm going to have a button and I'm going to cut off the ability of the American people to hear the President of the United States and the former Vice President Joe Biden? Boy I wouldn't want to do that."

The next debate was scheduled for Oct. 15. in Miami, Florida. It was not clear if the debate would take place after President Trump tested positive for COVID-19.


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