- Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Moderator Chris Wallace emerged as one of the likely winners of the final presidential debate.
During the debate’s 90 minutes, the Fox News anchor’s questions on major policy issues and top news stories elicited praise on social media.
Wallace rattled through questions on issues as varied as immigration, abortion, and gun control while also touching on the top news events including Donald Trump’s baseless claim that the general election was rigged against him.
He also did not tolerate interruptions, occasionally asking the crowd at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas campus to stay quiet during the debate.
Reporters and viewers lauded Wallace’s performance as soon as the debate concluded:
Chris Wallace is just amazing at this.
— Farhad Manjoo ???? (@fmanjoo) October 20, 2016
Nice work, Chris Wallace!
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 20, 2016
Chris Wallace a big winner from tonight https://t.co/FFXF1W64oP
— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) October 20, 2016
Can we just elect Chris Wallace instead?
— Bret Stephens (@BretStephensNYT) October 20, 2016
Chris Wallace nailed it.
— Kyle Blaine (@kyletblaine) October 20, 2016
Chris Wallace is the first Fox News anchor to moderate a presidential debate and hands down this year’s best
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 20, 2016
Chris Wallace knocked it out of the park as moderator, I would say.
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) October 20, 2016
Wallace’s performance did not elicit the anger some top Trump supporters reserved for previous moderators, including Lester Holt of NBC, Anderson Cooper of CNN, and Martha Raddatz of ABC.
The Trump campaign appeared pleased with Wallace’s turn as a moderator.
“Chis Wallace did a good job on keeping them on the issues,” Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who now advises Trump, told Sean Hannity after the debate.
Clinton also praised Wallace’s performance.
“He did very well,” she told reporters aboard her plane. “He did very well.”
Wallace garnered criticism shortly after he was announced as a moderator last month when he said it was not his job to be a “truth squad.”
“It’s up to the other person to catch them on that,” Wallace said of fact-checking candidates. “I view it as kind of like being a referee in a heavyweight championship fight. If it succeeds, after it’s over people will say, ‘You did a great job. I don’t even remember you being on the stage.'”
Some observers on the left had also wondered whether Wallace would deliver a fair performance given he was the first moderator from Fox News, whose opinion shows generally favor conservative viewpoints.
Fox News host Bret Baier told viewers after the debate that he had “goosebumps” watching Wallace, his cohost for the first Republican presidential primary debate.
“We’re all proud of Chris,” Baier said.