Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment'

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by the Walton Family Foundation — Pope Francis expresses support for same-sex unions MORE (Utah), the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, said the first debate between President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE and Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida Supreme Court reinstates ban on curbside voting in Alabama MORE, which was full of interruptions, personal insults and crosstalk, was “an embarrassment.”

“I thought it was an embarrassment last night, the debate,” Romney told reporters as he walked into the weekly Senate Republican luncheon.

Other Senate Republicans described the debate as “raucous,” “raw,” “rough,” “feisty” and, in the words of Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseSweden bans use of Huawei, ZTE equipment in new 5G networks McConnell aims for unity amid growing divisions with Trump Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE (R-Neb.), a “shitshow,” echoing the description CNN reporter Dana BashDana BashTrump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally CNN's John King: Barrett 'would be getting 70 votes or more' in Senate if nominated by another GOP president Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' MORE used on air after the debate.


Even some of Trump’s staunchest supporters thought the debate got out of hand.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeHouse Democrat optimistic defense bill will block Trump's Germany withdrawal EPA gives Oklahoma authority over many tribal environmental issues GOP lawmakers gloomy, back on defense after debate fiasco MORE (R-Okla.) said Trump’s performance was “a little too forceful” and advised that he “restrain himself a little” at the next debate.

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP coronavirus bill blocked as deal remains elusive Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave Cunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll MORE (R-N.C.), who is in a tough reelection race, hesitated a moment when asked about his reaction to the messy debate, where any policy discussion took a backseat to personal jabs that at times became so entangled as the candidates spoke over each other that it was difficult to follow who was saying what.

“Uhh, it wasn’t a Lincoln-Douglas debate,” Tillis said, referring to the famous series of debates between Abraham Lincoln and Sen. Stephen Douglas during the 1858 midterm election, which for centuries set the standard for great political debate.

Sen. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanRomney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' COVID-19 relief talks look dead until September  Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick MORE (R-Ark.) said he thought the event “was pretty raw” while Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP cool to White House's .6T coronavirus price tag Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' Netflix distances from author's comments about Muslim Uyghurs but defends project MORE (R-N.D.) said it was “raucous.”

Asked if he was proud of Trump’s performance, Cramer, a strong Trump ally, responded, “Proud isn’t a word I use very much.” 

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunGOP to Trump: Focus on policy GOP lawmakers gloomy, back on defense after debate fiasco Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' MORE (R-Ind.), asked about Trump’s response when asked to condemn white supremacist groups such as the Proud Boys, said he would have delivered a more forceful denunciation. 
"I'm for all clearly denouncing that, any extremism on both sides,” Braun said. “That’s what I would do.”
Trump called on the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” and then quickly added: “Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”