Wallace opposes cutting off mics at debate

Fox News’s Chris Wallace, who moderated the first presidential debate on Tuesday, disagrees with proposals to allow future moderators to cut candidates’ microphones.

The number of interruptions at the Tuesday debate was a common criticism, and numerous people also faulted Wallace for allowing President Trump to talk over Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

In comments to The New York Times, Wallace said he was against cutting off mics for both practical reasons and reasons relating to the spirit of the debates.

“As a practical matter, even if the president’s microphone had been shut, he still could have continued to interrupt, and it might well have been picked up on Biden’s microphone, and it still would have disrupted the proceedings in the hall,” he told the Times. In addition, he said, “people have to remember, and too many people forget, both of these candidates have the support of tens of millions of Americans.”

Wallace made the remarks in the same interview where he said he was “sad” with how “the night turned out.”

“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,” he said,

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced after the debate that it would make changes in future debates to more strictly enforce the rules. On Wednesday, CBS News reported that future moderators would have the power to cut off candidates’ mics for rule violations.

“The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” the commission said in a statement Wednesday.

Biden and Trump will have their remaining debates on Oct. 15 and 22, while Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, will have their single debate on Tuesday.

Tags Chris Wallace Donald Trump Joe Biden

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