Chris Wallace, who came under fire after moderating a contentious debate between President Trump and Joe Biden (D), appeared to favor the Commission on Presidential Debate’s decision to move October 15’s in-person debate to an online forum, calling it a “perfectly reasonable idea.”
“I know he says that he’s cured. I know he says that he doesn’t have COVID anymore, but, the White House has not told us that he is negative,” Wallace told The Brian Kilmeade Show. “All the scientists say that it is 14 days, which would be within the window of next Thursday’s debate.”
On Thursday morning, the commission announced its intention to nix the in-person debate, opting for a virtual forum.
“The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations,” the commission said.
“The town meeting participants and the moderator, Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer & Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks, will be located at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida,” the commission added.
Trump immediately rejected the commission’s plan to nix the debate.
“I’m not going to do a virtual debate,” Trump said, formally rejecting the plan. Trump’s campaign later suggested that the debate should take place in person on October 22, “and accordingly, the third debate should then be shifted back one week to October 29.”
“As President Trump said, a virtual debate is a non-starter and would clearly be a gift to Biden because he would be relying on his teleprompter from his basement bunker,” the Trump campaign stated.
Biden’s campaign has since stated that the former vice president will instead “find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly on October 15” and expressed hope that the commission will move the town hall to October 22 “so that the President is not able to evade accountability”:
JUST IN: @JoeBiden also will not participate in the Oct. 15 debate, his campaign announces. Instead, @KBeds says Biden “will find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly on October 15th, as he has done on several occasions in recent weeks.” pic.twitter.com/vaBxRJSanw
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) October 8, 2020
Wallace has been criticized following the first presidential debate, which saw both candidates, as well as Wallace, interrupting each other. Although Wallace said the “primary responsibility for what happened” fell on President Trump, it was the former vice president who set the tone by interrupting the president first, as Breitbart News detailed.
Even so, Wallace added, “I felt like I had gotten together all of the ingredients, I had baked this beautiful, delicious cake, and frankly, the president put his foot in it.”