Moments after the first 2020 presidential debate ended on September 29, CNN reporter Dana Bash shared her uncensored, brutally honest thoughts on what happened on stage between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I’m just gonna say it like it is,” Bash said. “That was a s*** show.” Knowing the language might be sensitive for some viewers, “We’re on cable,” Bash added, “and we can say that.
“Apologies for being a little bit crude, but that’s the phrase I’m getting from both sides of the aisle on text,” Bash said. “And it’s the only phrase I can think of to really describe it.”
Dana Bash: “That was a shitshow.” pic.twitter.com/VrrowZItq3
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) September 30, 2020
Bash, 49, who’s a chief political correspondent for CNN and graduated cum laude from George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in political communications, according to her CNN profile, said that it was difficult to hear any concrete answers when Trump kept interrupting the night’s moderator, Chris Wallace.
CNN’s Jake Tapper Called the Presidential Debate a ‘Dumpster Fire Inside a Train Wreck’
Jake Tapper delivering a Billy Madison moderator moment: pic.twitter.com/D64KS6mfXB
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 30, 2020
Bash wasn’t the only CNN anchor covering the debate who found the event to be chaotic and combative.
CNN’s Jake Tapper called it “horrific.” He said, “That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck. That was the worst debate I have ever seen. It wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace.
“It’s primarily, because of President Trump,” Tapper continued. The president “spent the entire time interrupting, not abiding by the rules he agreed to, lying maliciously attacking the son of the vice president. When asked to condemn White Supremacists, he brought up the name of a neo-fascist far-right group and said, ‘Stand back and stand by.”
As for who won or lost the debate, Tapper wasn’t ready to answer. He said, “I’ll tell you one thing for sure, the American people lost tonight.”
Later on in the show, while talking to Senator Kamala Harris, Tapper asked Biden’s vice presidential nominee if he thought it would be prudent for Biden to participate in another debate. Harris said Biden would never miss an opportunity to speak to the American people.
Wallace Was Largely Criticized for Being Unable to Control the Frequent Interruptions
Chris Wallace: "I think that the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak without interruptions. I'm appealing to you sir to do that."
President Trump: "Well and [Joe Biden] too."
Wallace: "Well, frankly you've been doing more interrupting than he has." pic.twitter.com/Mb8erHwHLb
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 30, 2020
Tuesday night’s debate was one of the most anticipated events in recent political history, but it seemed to go off the rails quickly. While both political parties slammed the opposing candidate on Twitter, Wallace was dragged on social media. He was largely criticized on Twitter for not being able to keep the speakers from constantly interrupting each other.
Chris Wallace…I don't mean to be rude but
You are really terrible at this.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) September 30, 2020
Newsweek reporter Travis Akers tweeted, “Chris Wallace has completely lost control of this debate. Let this be a strong lesson to future moderators, the microphones must be cut off when the other person is speaking. This is ridiculous and embarrassing.”
While Wallace is a registered Democrat, he’s also the host of Fox News Sunday, and numerous reporters felt that Wallace was being too lenient with Trump.
Jill Wine-Banks, an MSNBC contributor and Watergate prosecutor tweeted, “Chris Wallace is not running a fair debate. Trump doesn’t want a free and fair election and Wallace is helping him achieve that. He interrupts Biden and lets Trump talk over everyone.”