"Nonpartisan" moderator Chris Wallace debated President Donald Trump and pulled punches with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Ahead of the debate, the son of legendary “60 Minutes” reporter Mike Wallace said he intended to remain "as invisible as possible."
“[O]ne of these two people is going to be the next president of the United States, and my job is to be as invisible as possible," the Fox News Sunday host stated.
The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates selected Wallace and the other two journalists—NBC’s Kristen Welker and C-SPAN’s Steve Scully— to moderate the three debates before the November election.
“Each individual brings great professionalism to moderating and understands that the purpose of the 2020 debate formats is to facilitate in-depth discussion of major topics,” the Commission's co-chairs announced the lineup earlier this month.
Trump's campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh criticized the picks in a press statement: “These are not the moderators we would have recommended if the campaign had been allowed to have any input. Some can be identified as clear opponents of President Trump, meaning Joe Biden will actually have a teammate on stage most of the time to help him excuse the radical, leftist agenda he is carrying."
"One thing is sure: Chris Wallace’s selection ensures that Biden will finally see him face-to-face after dodging his interview requests. That is, if Biden actually shows up,” Murtaugh fired.
But it appeared that Wallace threw a series of softballs at the 77-year-old challenger even when caught on stage in strew of lies.
High-profile trial lawyer Robert Barnes wrote: "The guy spreading the most hoaxes tonight is @JoeBiden," naming the Charlottesville hoax, the bounty hoax, the solider loser hoax. "Will media fact check those hoaxes?" he questioned the left-wing establishment.
Trump interrogated Biden about his kin's business dealings in China, Russia and Ukraine. Biden continued to deny that his son, Hunter Biden, received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.
“China ate your lunch, Joe, and no wonder — your son goes in and he takes out, he takes out billions of dollars, takes out billions of dollars to manage. He makes millions of dollars,” Trump fired on the offensive, referring to a business deal after Hunter flew to China in 2013 aboard Air Force Two.
Biden simply responded: “Simply not true."
“And also while we’re at it: Why is it, just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow, his wife, gave your son $3.5 million?” Trump said, referring to the recent 87-page bombshell report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) and the Committee on Finance incriminating Hunter.
“What did he do to deserve it?” Trump pressed Biden. “What did he do with Burisma to deserve $183,000?” he questioned, referring to the Ukraine energy firm that employed Biden’s son while he led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
Wallace ended the trade-off with little contention: “I think the American people would rather hear about more substantial subjects.”
The Bidens made millions every place the former Vice President was made "Point Man" by former commander-in-chief Barack Obama including Iraq, Ukraine, China, President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani cited, adding the $3.5 million from Vladimir Putin’s ally and Romania, Kazakhstan.
"Time for a Free Press to tell the truth about the Biden Crime Family," the former mayor of New York City tweeted.
Biden also alleged that Kellyanne Conway, Trump's 2016 campaign manager, stated that violence happening in Democrat-run cities is "better for us."
"His own former spokesperson said, you know, ‘Riots and chaos and violence help his cause,'" Biden again slandered the president's former counselor.
Trump questioned who exactly Biden was quoting, to which the Democratic contender replied, "Kellyanne Conway."
Last month during an interview with MSNBC, Biden initially misrepresented one of Conway's quotes, "recounting" her Aug. 27 appearance on Fox and Friends. Trump would benefit politically from unrest in American cities, he claimed she premised.
"[Conway] said: 'The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, it's better for us. It's a very clear choice it presents for us,'" Biden smeared Conway, pulling a statement out of context.
When in actuality, Conway questioned tongue-in-cheek if protesters are "trying to get Trump re-elected."
"Thanks for debate shout-out, creepy/sleepy/weepy JOE, but you lied. And don't sniff my hair, either," Conway snapped back, referring to an accusation by former Democratic Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores.
It took Biden's opponent to contest Biden's skirting responses and even blatant non-answers.
When Trump asked Biden to name a law enforcement organization that supports him, the Democratic ticket froze.
"Name one group that came out and supported you," Trump snapped. "Think. We have time." Deflecting, Biden claimed "we don't have time to do anything."
Wallace saved Biden, speechless at the moment, to "take back the moderator role."
While there were only two candidates, it was at times a three-way battle. Wallace struggled throughout the contest to maintain order as both nominees talked over him and each other.
“Gentlemen!” a fed-up Wallace finally snapped after one prolonged period of cross-talk. “I hate to raise my voice, but why shouldn’t I be different than the two of you?”
On multiple occasions during the two uninterrupted minutes allotted to each party, Wallace reminded those present not to cut off his opponent at the start of each new segment as agreed to by both campaigns.
Trump repeatedly wrestled with Wallace for control of the conversation, especially during an early exchange contesting his administration’s repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate.
“You’re debating him, not me,” Wallace reminded Trump, gesturing towards Biden.
As the back-and-forth continued, Trump volleyed: “I guess I’m debating you, not him," adding “but that’s okay, no surprise.”
In Trump's first tweet following the face-off, the wordless post featured an image of the Republican president on the left opposed by Wallace and Biden on the right in a vintage arcade-style, character-select screen complete with the abbreviated “VS” in the "Street Fighter" font.
In another tweet, Trump wrote: “Chris had a tough night. 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. Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!”
Trump went on to retweet several messages tearing down the Biden-Wallace tag team.