Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and senior political analyst Brit Hume ripped President Donald Trump’s 70-minute Republican National Convention speech on Thursday night, describing it as “surprisingly flat” and lacking in “excitement.”
Following the precedent-busting address from the White House in which the president accepted his party’s nomination, the “All-Star Panel” at the president’s favorite cable news channel largely gave his lengthy and rambling speech a thumbs-down.
Wallace, noting that the “impressive” post-speech fireworks were still booming in the air, said he “was surprised at the lack of fireworks at the president’s speech tonight.” Pointing out that “it was far too long,” the Fox News Sunday moderator said it felt at times like a State of the Union or even a campaign speech.
Conceding that the president did have some “good lines,” specifically when he was running down Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s record, Wallace still hit the president for appearing tired and low-energy throughout.
“I have to say in his delivery, I thought the president—who we have seen really turn on a crowd—was surprisingly flat and didn’t seem to have the bite that he usually does have in his speeches,” he declared.
Wallace also took issue with the president holding his acceptance speech at the White House in front of a packed audience amid a deadly coronavirus pandemic that’s killed 180,000 Americans, something other news anchors have described as a “super-spreader event.”
“The fact that there were 2,000 people in close quarters on the South Lawn there with no seemingly—very few with masks, no social distancing, ignoring all of the public health recommendations,” Wallace remarked. “I suspect that will get a lot of comment in the next few days.”
Hume, typically a loyal Trump defender, found many of the same faults in the speech.
“Chris has a point,” he said. “The speech was very, very long. I don’t know that any speech that is an hour and ten minutes uninterrupted by anything visual can work very well.”
Noting that earlier he had said “the president has a case,” Hume added that Trump “does indeed have a case and he made it tonight and made it and made it and made it!” Still, the veteran Fox host said, the president was a “little flat.”
“He’s done very good speeches before,” Hume added. “But tonight, he seemed to miss the excitement that he generates in himself when he’s ad-libbing.”
Perhaps looking to provide the president a bit of an excuse for the overlong and dull speech, anchor Martha MacCallum brought up the fact that Trump was featured every single night of the convention.
“We’ve seen him every day doing performances or moments in the White House, I should say, and we’ve heard from him last night,” she said. “Usually the big finish is the final night. So maybe the president didn’t save it all for the final night. He spread it out over the course of this week.”