The Fox News host spent the evening repeatedly trying to keep Donald. Trump from interrupting his debate opponent Joe Biden.
"It's hard to get any word in with this clown," Biden said at one point, "excuse me, this person."
Ahead of the event Wallace said he would try to be “as invisible as possible” as he moderated, but this did not work out as planned.
“Mr President, I am the moderator of this debate, and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer it,” he told the president, following repeated interruptions of Biden’s answers.
At times, it appeared as if Chris Wallace were pleading with Trump to respect the forum like a parent would plead w… https://t.co/nnoEGVWlw1
Later on, he said with tensions running high: "You know, sir, if you wanna switch seats, we could do that."
Wallace faced mounting criticism throughout the evening, combined with a slew of coverage generally calling the debate chaotic and insult-ridden, with people saying he had let the candidates completely run wild.
The worst debate moderator in the history of the United States is named Chris Wallace. That's permanent.
Debate-watchers called his moderating “embarrassing” and “out-of-control”, that allowed Trump to “behave like a schoolyard bully”.
Speaking on the metaphorical “switching of seats” comment, journalist Brian Stelter tweeted, “Yes, but the metaphorical switch happened in the first 5 minutes. Trump took control by interrupting and interjecting while Joe Biden spoke…”
Oh my God.
Chris Wallace has totally lost control of this thing.
He’s allowing Trump to behave like schoolyard bul… https://t.co/NVXsWyMAue
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@Ana Navarro-Cárdenas)
Other expanded their criticism beyond just his wrangling-skills: “Don't just condemn Chris Wallace's performance because he was never in control. His questions were ill-structured. He didn't follow-up. And he did not ask the big questions that needed asking,” David Rothkopf tweeted.
Others not as hard on Wallace, saying it was essentially impossible to make Trump follow the rules and decorum of the debate stage.
Lots of dogpiling on Chris Wallace, but as a debate moderator, I've never seen a candidate who talks over every answer from their opponent.
“Short of stopping the debate and telling the president, you're violating the rules and I won't go on like this, not sure what the solution was,” Michael Barbaro tweeted, saying he was not sure if there was really anything Wallace could have done differently.
If you're coming down hard on Chris Wallace, ask yourself: what could a moderator have done given Trump's behavior?… https://t.co/lI1wa90cdZ