Susan Page bats down criticism after VP debate: 'I felt good about how it went'

Susan Page bats down criticism after VP debate: 'I felt good about how it went'
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USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page said that despite criticism of her moderation of Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, she “felt good about how it went.”

Critiques of Page echoed those levied against Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' House Republican: Cheney has 'failed' GOP conference Facebook oversight board member on Capitol rioters: Trump was 'egging them on' MORE, who moderated the first presidential debate last week. Page was criticized for failing to stop the candidates, Vice President Pence in particular, from going over their allotted time to answer questions and interrupting each other.

“I felt good about how it went,” Page told The Washington Post on Thursday morning. “I felt it was a relatively civil debate, and one that was focused on issues that mattered to voters.”


Page frequently attempted to keep Pence from going over time by saying "Thank you, Mr. Vice President" and trying to move on.

"I didn’t see many options beyond just speaking up and saying, ‘Thank you,’ to try to get them to stop. I didn’t have alternatives that came to mind. ... Saying ‘thank you’ was the best option to think of,” she said.

Page also defended the relative lack of follow-up questions she asked, telling the newspaper, “I tried to ask the question so narrowly the first time around that it seemed unlikely that the second time around I was going to get a more direct response.”

“Some people would have handled that differently,” she added.

She also defended her failure to pin down the candidates when they did not directly answer a question.

“[T]he refusal to answer a question, I thought, could be telling — maybe not as telling as if they had actually answered it — but that was not without some value,” Page told the Post.

She added that she had intended to ask a question related to immigration but ran out of time.

“I was really sorry that we didn’t get to that,” she said. “We could have done nine more topics that were all very important, and I would definitely put immigration high on that list as something I wish we could have talked about.”