The Commission on Presidential Debates has vowed to change the format of the next candidate clash after Tuesday’s debate was called a ‘national embarrassment’ by Joe Biden but an unrepentant Donald Trump said it was ‘fun.’
The chaotic 90 minute debate, where the president repeatedly interrupted his Democratic rival and moderator Chris Wallace, was dubbed a ‘s*** show’ and ‘dumpster fire’ by pundits.
In the aftermath, critics demanded changes to the format, with some saying it was the worst presidential debate in history. Wallace was faulted for not being able to control the unruly president, who would not stop talking.
‘Try getting a new Anchor and a smarter Democrat candidate!,’ Trump tweeted about the announcement that changes were coming.
The commission said ‘additional structure’ would be added to the remaining debates to ‘maintain order’ but offered no specifics.
‘Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,’ the commission said in a statement Wednesday.
The changes will be announced ‘shortly,’ the commission said. There are three more debates on the calendar: next week’s vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City and the final two presidential debates, to take place in Miami and Nashville later in October.
The commission also thanked Wallace for moderating the difficult event.
‘The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates,’ the statement said.
In his first remarks after the crazy evening, Biden described Trump as a ‘national embarrassment’ and said he hopes the format is changed to the president’s mic can be turned off when needed.
‘I can understand it. I kind of thought at one point, and maybe I shouldn’t say this, but the president of the United States conducting himself the way he did, I think it was just a national embarrassment,’ Biden said Wednesday at a stop on his train tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Biden confirmed he will participate in the following two debates. He said he is getting ready for the next debate, which will be in a town hall format hosted by C-SPAN’s Steve Scully in Miami, Florida – and floated the idea of using technology to rein in Trump.
‘I just hope there’s a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the question without interruption,’ he said, suggesting his microphone be muted if the president interrupts him.
The president also indicated he would be at the next presidential debate.
‘I would like to,’ he told reporters at the White House Wednesday before he left for Minnesota. ‘We won the debate by almost every poll that I saw.’
He added of Biden: ‘I don’t mind debating him. I hear that he wants to get out of the debates. I don’t know. That’s up to him.’
Trump, meanwhile, said the night was ‘fun.’
The president suggested he was debating two people on Tuesday – Biden and Wallace in a series of Wednesday morning tweets on the turbulent event.
‘Chris had a tough night,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Two on one was not surprising, but fun.’
‘Many important points made, like throwing Bernie, AOC PLUS 3, and the rest, to the wolves! Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe,’ Trump claimed. ‘Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!’
The president also suggested that Biden lost the suburban vote because he ‘refused’ to call for law and order at the debate.
‘Biden REFUSED to use the term, LAW & ORDER! There go the Suburbs,’ Trump, whose support is slipping among suburban voters, said.
Biden tweeted back: ‘Enough with the racist dog whistles, Donald. You wouldn’t know a suburb unless you took a wrong turn.’
Trump abandoned months of claims that Biden is a ‘left wing puppet,’ instead asserting at the debate that Biden lost support from the more progressive wing of Democrats.
As the president attacked Biden for his environmental plan, the Democratic candidate said he does not support the Green New Deal – the brainchild of Democratic Socialist lawmakers Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The former vice president instead said he backs the ‘Biden plan,’ which was created with the help of Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and former Secretary of State John Kerry.
The duration of the 90-minute uninterrupted debate included shouting matches between the candidates as they spewed insults at one another as moderator Chris Wallace lost control.
Trump also tweeted the morning after the debate a list of what he says Biden will do to limit Americans’ rights if he becomes president.
‘Biden wants to Pack the Supreme Court, thereby ruining it,’ Trump accused. ‘Also, he wants no fracking, killing our Energy business, and JOBS.’
He continued in the Wednesday morning tweet: ‘Second Amendment is DEAD if Biden gets in! Is that what you want from a leader? He will destroy our Country! VOTE NOW USA.’
The debate barely kicked off before it devolved into a chaotic mess as the two candidates began name calling, fighting and cross-talking – ignoring pleas from Wallace to stand down.
‘Would you shut up, man?,’ a visibly exasperated Biden said about 20 minutes into the debate after Trump interrupted him.
Just 15 minutes later, as the candidate discussed the coronavirus pandemic, Biden urged Trump again: ‘Would you just shush for a minute?’
When it was over CNN’s Jake Tapper called it a ‘hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck,’ as well as a ‘disgrace,’ in one of many efforts by commentators to make sense of the carnage. His colleague Dana Bash called it a ‘s**tshow’ – a verdict broadcast in full which rapidly went viral.
Biden spokeswoman Symone Sanders said it was ‘just a lot of chaos from Donald Trump.’
Coming into a debate where his team acknowledged he skipped the typical policy cramming of such contests, Trump relentlessly went after Biden – frequently cutting him off mid-sentence.
Biden, determined not to get out-muscled and mindful of Trump’s slashing 2016 attacks on Hillary Clinton, came armed with his own insults – branding Trump a ‘liar’ and a ‘clown’ and also ‘a racist’ – but sometimes merely sat back and smiled amid Trump’s own charges.
During one exchange, Biden told the president to ‘shut up.’ Later he said ‘you’re the worst president that America has ever had.’
Trump, for his part, brought up Biden’s son Hunter’s past cocaine use and inaccurately accused him of getting a dishonorable discharge from the Navy. He called his rival a ‘socialist,’ and repeatedly tried to tar him with ‘radical’ elements like Antifa.
He tried to yoke Biden to a ‘manifesto’ of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and accused him of backing the Green New Deal on the environment. Biden said he backs the ‘Biden plan.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Goodin, Katelyn Caralle, Geoff Earle, and Nikki Schwab