Senate

McConnell: Next Trump-Biden debate should be more respectful

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that the next presidential debate should be more “respectful,” but didn’t directly criticize President Trump’s performance Tuesday night.

“There will be two more debates and I hope both the candidates will approach the next debate in a little more respectful way. It would be a good idea, I think, to let each of the candidates finish their answers,” McConnell told Fox News.

“We got two more to go and I’m hoping they’ll be a little better for the American people’s viewing,” he added.

McConnell’s comments come after Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden engaged in a roughly two-hour chaotic debate on Tuesday night, their first face-off during the election.  

The debate was marked by constant interruptions, cross talk, personal attacks and Trump at times sparring with moderator Chris Wallace, who struggled to get the candidates to stick to their time limits. 

McConnell, asked about his thoughts on the debate, quipped: “Well it wasn’t a Lincoln-Douglas, I can tell you that.” 

Lincoln-Douglas debates are tightly structured with both candidates speaking one at a time with strict time limits. 

Other GOP senators were more direct this week in their criticism, as they found themselves on defense having to answer questions about Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy during the debate instead of being able to talk about Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. 

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) called the debate a “shitshow,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called it an “embarrassment,” and Sen. Murkowski (R-Alaska) said it was “awful.” 

The Commission on Presidential Debates said it was exploring potential changes to better maintain orderly discussion.

Tags 2020 presidential debate Ben Sasse Chris Wallace Donald Trump Joe Biden Lincoln–Douglas debates Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney

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