With less than 40 days until the election, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are barreling into their crucial first debate Tuesday night.
In the two men’s first head-to-head matchup, President Trump bullied moderator Chris Wallace and interrupted Biden.
It caused a mockery of presidential debates, growing so chaotic that it was impossible to follow entire segments.
Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield said “I would imagine there would be some additional conversations” going forward.
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a top Biden surrogate, said it wasn’t obvious that Biden should commit to future debates.
“I’m going to leave that to the campaign,” he said. But if the point of debates is to allow the candidates to articulate a message to viewers, Coons said, Tuesday’s fracas failed the test.
“It was very hard to follow what was being said, and President Trump showed not just disrespect to the moderator, but to the American people who tuned in trying to figure out what his plans are,” Coons said. “The point of the debate is for the American people to make a decision, informed by hearing from the two candidates on what’s your record, what are your values? Joe Biden came prepared to respect the American people. Donald Trump did not.”
“Of course, Biden and Harris should keep debating. But they should work to make sure Trump can’t repeat his performance tonight,” Simon Rosenberg, a former senior consultant for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said. “Moderators should have the ability to cut off his mic and split screens should be limited. Let them talk to the American people without the other facial expressions and interruptions registering.”