Debate moderator Kristen Welker drew rave reviews from all sides after the second and final presidential debate went far smoother than the disastrous interruption-filled first debate, USA Today reports.
Welker, who moderated a debate where opponents’ microphones were muted during opening statements, oversaw an event with far fewer interruptions and a lot more substance. Welker repeatedly shut down crosstalk while allowing candidates to briefly respond and moved swiftly between topics.
“A master class where voters were clearly well served,” said NBC News colleague Kelly O’Donnell.
Chris Wallace, who failed to keep order at the first debate, admitted he was “jealous” of Welker.
"I would have liked to have been able to moderate that debate and to get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions,” he said.
MSNBC calls for Trump apology:
Trump repeatedly attacked Welker before the debate before seemingly praising her in the final moments of Thursday’s event.
Trump claimed that Welker was “extraordinarily unfair” and a “radical left Democrat.”
"Somebody owes our colleague Kristen Welker an apology," MSNBC anchor Brian Williams said after the debate.
"Yeah," agreed host Rachel Maddow, "she's owed an apology by the president, who attacked her over and over and over again heading into this event tonight.”
Even Fox News defending Welker:
Even competitors at Fox News defended Welker against attacks from the Trump camp when Trump supporter Mercedes Schlapp baselessly claimed that the longtime journalist was a “bit of an activist.”
“Sorry, she’s a reporter. She’s a reporter. She’s not an activist,” Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer shot back.
“Well, if you would consider she worked for NBC and she worked for MSNBC, which I would say is not necessarily fair and balanced like other stations that we know,” Schlapp said.
“She covers the White House,” Hemmer replied.