Chris Wallace is clearly still smarting over the disastrous first presidential debate last month. At least judging by his admission Thursday night that he’s “jealous” of final presidential debate moderator Kristen Welker and wishes he could have swapped places with her.
“First of all, I’m jealous,” Wallace told Fox’s chief political correspondent Bret Baier and anchor Martha MacCallum during the network’s post-debate coverage Thursday night. “I would’ve liked to have been able to moderate that debate and get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions.”
“I thought it was a good debate, a good, substantive debate, two very competing visions for the country. I thought that Biden had many more specific plans,” he said. “I thought the President’s presentation was more fluid, there were clearly times when Joe Biden seemed to falter a little bit in making his point or finishing his sentence.”
In contrast to Thursday’s debate, the first presidential debate in September was messy and chaotic. Defined largely by Trump’s rude demeanor and constant interruptions, it was also notable for Wallace’s apparent inability to make Trump respect the rules he’d agreed to in advance. Wallace’s impotent performance as moderator was widely panned, and the Presidential Debate Commission was forced to implement rules changes to ensure subsequent debates weren’t similar debacles.
Among them, at Thursday’s debate each candidate received two uninterrupted minutes per question, during which time their opponent’s mic was muted. That did a lot to rein Trump in, but Welker herself was specifically praised for the way she handled the notoriously tough job of moderating.
Wallace was part of Fox News’ post-debate panel which included Brit Hume, Dana Perino, Juan Williams, Katie Pavlich, Donna Brazile, and Carl Rove, and during their discussion he said he thought the questions and the topics seemed to “played more to Biden’s advantage than they did to the President’s.”
Watch Wallace’s full remarks in the clip above.