“Well, first of all I’m jealous,” Chris Wallace said on Fox News immediately following the second and final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
“I would have liked to have been able to moderate that debate and to get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions,“ the Fox News Sunday anchor added.
Wallace, who struggled to maintain control of the president’s outbursts during the first debate a couple of weeks ago, called Thursday night’s event a “good substantive debate” with “two very competing visions for the country.”
That being said, he added that Biden “had many more specific plans” on everything from COVID-19 to health care to climate change but also that the topics and questions “played more to Biden’s advantage” that forced Trump into “defense” mode.
As he predicted earlier in the day, Wallace said he thought Biden was “very successful” at countering Trump’s attacks on his son Hunter, by bringing up the president’s secret Chinese bank account and “especially on his failure to turn over his tax returns over his four years” in office.
Welker’s widely praised debate performance came after smears from the conservative media echo chamber insinuated that the NBC reporter is a partisan Democratic operative. A New York Post hit piece over the weekend cited her parents’ political donations, as well as a photograph of Welker with President Barack Obama at a White House Christmas party (an event also attended by conservative media stars like Rupert Murdoch and Bill O’Reilly), as proof of her impartiality.
Despite his network repeatedly pushing the attacks on Welker, Fox News analyst Brit Hume on Thursday evening had overtly positive things to say about her performance.
“I thought the moderator did a very good job,” he said, praising her specifically for challenging Biden on the controversy surrounding his son Hunter, fueled largely by Fox News. While he believes Trump may have given his “best debate performance perhaps ever,” Hume also thought Biden “fought him to at least a draw.”
And, even Trump, who spent most of the week ranting about how unfair and biased Welker would be—despite gushing about her in January 2020—remarked midway through the debate about her moderating skills.
“By the way, so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” the president admitted.