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Fox News anchor Chris Wallace offered praise for NBC’s Kristen Welker following Thursday evening’s final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, which was far more civil and orderly than the first debate he hosted.
“Well, first of all, I’m jealous,” Wallace joked to a Fox News panel led by anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum as he began his post-debate analysis.
“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,” he added.
Wallace then said that Biden “had many more specific plans” than the president did, though oftentimes the former vice president was visibly struggling to complete thoughts and sentences.
Biden was clearer, Wallace said, on “how to handle the COVID, whether it came to handle climate change, whether it came to handle health care.”
Alternately, “I thought the president’s presentation, he was more fluid,” he said, adding: “There were clearly times when Joe Biden seemed to falter a little bit in making his point or finishing his sentence.”
He then said he believed that the issues chosen by Welker for the two candidates to talk about favored the former vice president and long-serving U.S. senator from Delaware.
“I thought, honestly — and this may speak a little bit to Martha — that the topics and the questions played more to Biden’s advantage than they did to the president’s,” Wallace went on.
“That may be a matter of opinion, but it just seemed to me that they were questions in which Biden could play offense and the president was forced on the defense,” said the “Fox News Sunday” host.
“I was really struck by the emails because the president was obviously going to bring it up, he did bring it up,” Wallace said, a reference to an avalanche of new evidence strongly suggesting that Joe and Hunter Biden, as well as other members of the Biden family, have long been involved in ‘pay to play’ schemes involving Ukrainian, Russian, and Chinese oligarchs and officials.
That said, Wallace believes Biden “was very successful in kind of countering it by immediately throwing the president on defense about his China bank account and especially on his failure to turn over his tax returns during his four years, and the president had to…got quite defensive about that.”
WOW. Instead of simply congratulating Kristen Welker, Chris Wallace says he’s “jealous” and “I wish I could have moderated that debate.”
You had your chance, Chris, and you blew it.
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) October 23, 2020
Biden was likely referencing a New York Times report on Wednesday detailing the president’s efforts, years before he ran for office, to build hotels and develop other real estate in China and Moscow. The bank account referenced in the Times’ report was reported on Trump Organization financial disclosure reports.
Also, there were no indications that the president’s companies violated any laws or tax regulations, and the Times does not make any such allegations directly.
“In terms of key clips, moments…the president talked a lot about, ‘You’ve had all these years in Washington, why haven’t you done it? You’re a typical politician, all talk no action,’” Wallace continued, in reference to Trump’s attacks on Biden’s lack of substantial legislative accomplishments during his nearly 50 years in politics.
He then said he thought Biden’s best moment was responding to Trump’s claims that he’s the least-racist candidate on stage, when the former vice president said, in Wallace’s words, “Abraham Lincoln over here, he’s got a dog whistle as big as a foghorn.”
Biden, meanwhile, has been accused of making substantial racial gaffes and statements for decades.