Although many are praising her debate performance, critics are accusing Kristen Welker, the moderator in the presidential debate on October 22, of interrupting President Donald Trump more than his challenger Joe Biden.
How many times did Welker interrupt Trump? How many times did she interrupt Biden?
Ronna McDaniel, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, kept a tally of Welker’s interruptions. She wrote that Welker interrupted Biden eight times and interrupted Trump 41 times. She also wrote: “President @realDonaldTrump knocking it out of the park! Particularly impressive considering he is the only person the moderator interrupts.”
The GOP’s rapid response director wrote on Twitter, “Debate moderator Kristen Welker of NBC interrupted @realDonaldTrump over 5 times as much as she did Joe Biden.”
For those keeping score, moderator interruptions for each candidate:
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 23, 2020
In the last debate, Trump was criticized for his constant interruptions of Biden, but a mute button was installed during this debate.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump Had Kind Words for Welker’s Debate Performance
Kristen Welker on people in need of funds from stalled COVID-19 relief bill: "Mr. President, why haven't you been able to get them the help they need?"
"Because Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to approve it," Pres. Trump replies. "I do."
— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2020
Although he criticized her for what he called liberal bias before the debate happened, even Trump praised Welker during it. “By the way, so far, I respect very much the way you’re handling this. I have to say,” Trump told her about an hour into the debate, which largely focused on a substantive discussion of policy issues from oil to COVID-19.
Before the debate, Trump wrote, “Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS. Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse! #MAGA.”
Others also praised Welker’s debate performance. Here are some of those reactions:
“Thank you @kwelkernbc for giving the American people a real #DebateTonight.”
A lot of the praise came from fellow journalists. “Winner of the debate: @kwelkernbc who was clearly in command from start to finish with poise, substance and authority. Bravo!” Andrea Mitchell wrote.
Even some Republicans praised Welker. “Kristen Welker did a good job (much better than I expected) moderating the debate. i was pleasantly surprised when she asked Biden about the corruption scandal,” wrote Newt Gingrich.
A man tweeted at Welker, “Your performance, professionalism and adaptability during last night’s debate was outstanding!! America got a clearer look at the candidates and their views because of your amazing mediation skills. Thank you!”
Some People on Twitter Were Unhappy With Welker’s Interrupting
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 23, 2020
Some people on Twitter were unhappy that Welker interrupted Trump more times than his opponent. Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:
“Thanks for reminding me again how awful Kristen Welker was. She gave Biden the floor…every time….interrupted Trump incessantly.”
“Moderator Kristen Welker won the presidential debate:= Impartial my ass!!!!! She interrupted Trump more than biden did !It’s ALWAYS Trump against TWO!!!”
“@kwelkernbc interrupted whenever @realDonaldTrump was ready to land a punch. What if she used her own mute button and Trump landed those 25 times?!”
“So this is the debate where Donald Trump is interrupted nearly every response by either Joe Biden and Kristen Welker.”
Some people came up with different numbers. “She was better than Wallace, and the Town Hall moderators, but interrupted Trump 30 times, Biden 2. Kept saying 10 seconds Mr. President, then let Biden talk on and on!” one man wrote. “Interrupted Trump 42 times….Biden twice,” wrote another. Yet another person wrote, “Kristen Welker interrupted @potus @realDonaldTrump 44 times. She interrupted Sleepy Joe twice.”