Trump’s Shit Show: Media Shocked By President’s Off-The-Rails Debate Debacle

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump speak during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Oh... Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump speak during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (JIM WATSON,SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS

President Trump’s erratic and unhinged debate performance earned a swift round of rebukes late Tuesday from prominent journalists and commentators who seemed stunned by what they witnessed. 

Throughout the night, moderator Chris Wallace struggled to hold the reins of the debate as Trump repeatedly attempted to cut in during Biden’s time to answer, and even when Wallace tried to ask a question.

At one point in the debate, Wallace had to remind the President that he was, in fact, the moderator while Trump tried to talk over him about the Affordable Care Act.

As the debate went on, Biden grew increasingly irritated at Trump’s constant interjections. He even told the President to simply “shut up.”

Here’s how media figures weighed in on the chaos that ensued throughout the debate:

CNN’s Dana Bash, Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, Abby Philip and Van Jones

Bash put it bluntly: “that was a shit show.”

She noted that because they’re on cable TV, they’re permitted to use such crude language, which she also apologized for.

“But that is really the phrase I’m getting from people on both sides of the aisle on text and the only phrase I can think of to describe it.”

Bash’s CNN colleagues Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer and Abby Philip echoed similar sentiments.

Tapper called the debate “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.”  Philip said it was “a complete disaster.”

Blitzer agreed that it was “the most chaotic presidential debate” he had ever seen, adding that the first debate between Trump and Biden raises “a lot of questions about the future of a presidential debate between these two candidates.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised, by the way, if this is the last presidential debate between the president of the United States and the former vice president of the United States,” Blitzer said. “But we shall see, fairly soon.”

CNN’s Van Jones specifically torched Trump for his refusal to condemn white supremacy.

Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report

Derek Thompson, writer at The Atlantic

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and Jon Karl

Stephanopoulos slammed the debate for being the “worst” he ever watched.

“I have to speak personally here as someone who’s watched presidential debates for 40 years, as somebody who’s moderated presidential debates, as somebody who’s prepared candidates for presidential debates, as someone who’s covered presidential debates — that was the worst presidential debate I’ve ever seen in my life,” Stephanopoulos said moments after the debate ended.

Karl agreed that the debate was “a total mess.”

“It was a mess of interruptions, petty insults,” Karl said. “I was in touch with some people on the floor who told me they were stunned by what they were seeing transpire on that stage. Donald Trump came across as a bully.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams and Rich Lowry

Shortly after the debate ended, Maddow ripped Trump for delivering a “monstrous cavalcade of increasingly wild and obscene lies.’

“There’s something beyond fact-checking that needs to happen,” Maddow said, before concluding that the President is “running against the election” more than Biden.

Williams and Lowry similarly offered a dim assessment of the debate, with Williams stating that it was a “dark event” and Lowry asserting that he wouldn’t be surprised if presidential debates between Trump and Biden don’t continue.

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