‘I guess I’m debating you’: Trump and moderator Chris Wallace clash in raucous debate

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Chelsey Cox, NewsyBag
Published 12:12 a.m. ET Sept. 30, 2020

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President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden argue what to do about COVID-19 and the pandemic at the first 2020 presidential debate.

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President Donald Trump went head-to-head with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during the first presidential debate Tuesday night.

But, it seemed at times, Trump was also sparring with debate moderator Chris Wallace.

The Fox News anchor became visibly flustered as the candidates repeatedly talked over him and he seemed unable to maintain the question-and-answer flow of the debate. 

“Gentlemen, you realize that you’re both speaking at the same time,” Wallace said after butting-in several times to finish questions.

When Wallace asked Trump to stop interrupting, the president claimed Biden was interrupting, too. 

“Frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting,” Wallace told Trump, at one time asking the president if he would like to change seats and become the moderator.

Early in the debate, Trump bristled at Wallace’s question about why the president had not yet unveiled a “comprehensive” health care plan.

“Of course, I have,” Trump asserted. “I got rid of the individual mandate.”

Wallace attempted to note that getting rid of Obamacare mandate to have insurance was not the same as having a major plan. The two spent time arguing over each for several minutes.

“I guess I’m debating you, not him,” Trump told Wallace.

When Trump attacked Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, by saying he was dishonorably discharged from the military, Wallace chided him.

“I think the American people would rather hear about more substantial subjects,” he said.

Near the end, Wallace called the president out for not abiding by the two-minute response rule throughout the debate, which his campaign agreed to follow .

“Why don’t you observe what your campaign agreed to as a ground rule, OK sir?” Wallace asked.

When Trump responded by speaking over him, Wallace piped in, “that was a rhetorical question.”

After the debate, Trump appeared to hit Wallace in a tweet showing the abbreviation “vs.” between a photo of him and photos of Biden and Wallace.

Contributing: John Fritze

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2020/09/30/presidential-debate-trump-chris-wallace-clash-cleveland/3582739001/

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