Millions of Americans watching the first presidential debate last month between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden were turned off by the former's behavior.
Trump demonstrated an inability to refrain from talking over Biden or moderator Chris Wallace, snuffing out almost every chance at the productive policy debate intended to inform voters.
After Trump tested positive for the virus that's killed over 200 thousand Americans, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that it would switch to a virtual format for the second debate. This prompted Trump to back out, insisting that he'd only debate Biden in person.
As a result, the two candidates participated in dueling town halls, with NBC News making the controversial decision to host Trump's town hall at the same time as Biden's, limiting voters' chances to hear from both candidates.
Before, during, and after the first debate, Trump chastised moderator Chris Wallace for allegedly being soft on Biden. Ahead of the NBC town hall, the President decried the network as "fake" and implied they would be harder on him than he claimed they usually were on Biden.
CNN's Brianna Keilar recently pointed out that, since his 2016 campaign, Trump has berated the moderators of a debate or the networks to give himself cover for a weak performance. In addition to Wallace and NBC, Trump did the same to then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and CNN's Anderson Cooper.
And now Trump is doing the same to the moderator of the next debate: CNN's Kristen Welker.
"Kristen Welker. She's a radical Democrat. She deleted her entire account. But I've known her, she's been screaming questions at me for a long time. She's no good." -- Trump disses the moderator of the upcoming presidential debate pic.twitter.com/RG4gV2r10Z
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020
"Now on Thursday, I go up another, another real great one, another great one. Kristen Welker. She's a radical Democrat. Look at them. They're getting angry. She's a radical Democrat. She deleted her entire account. Everything is deleted, but I've known her. She's been screaming questions at me for a long time. She's no good."
He then went back to attacking the moderator of the NBC town hall, Savannah Guthrie, whom he called a "crazed lunatic."
Welker's colleague at CNN, Jake Tapper, responded to the clip of Trump insulting her by issuing a brutal fact check.
She's not radical, she's not a Democrat, she didn't delete her entire account, she doesn't scream her questions, and she's a good journalist and a good person.
Other than that, spot on. https://t.co/TY5RDOksdV
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 20, 2020
People, including some of his other colleagues at CNN, echoed his defense of Welker.
What he said. @kwelkernbc is one of the most down the middle, serious, conscientious reporters and humans I know - and no amount of uncalled for bullying will change that. https://t.co/45Di87OwHR
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) October 20, 2020
We need more journalists to come out like @jaketapper and defend each other against unwarranted attacks by Trump https://t.co/dLtqteVqs0
— Rebecca (@RebeccaKate_5) October 20, 2020
Trump truly hates women.
Men back in his time used to accuse women of screaming if they spoke. He's using that old, tired, obsolete technique, the 'Little Lady, we'll take care of things. You just sit there and be quiet' idea - and that won't work. Let's retire it - and Trump. https://t.co/m9HcJUygIs
— Adeline (Recognize Trumpism as cult worship) (@HonorDecency) October 20, 2020
Absolutely true and absolutely calling out @realDonaldTrump for lying again to his sheeples. https://t.co/GyPvByWwSm
— mrinjustified (@mrinjustified) October 20, 2020
Thanks for adding a dash of reality to Trump's ranting. https://t.co/9uu9j1uIxZ
— Mark Andersen (@markandersen85) October 20, 2020
Some think Trump is already setting the stage to pull out of the third debate as well.
He wants out. Trying to provoke the commission to cancel the debate. https://t.co/JyXWzfgKDm
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 20, 2020
Trump is terrified of another woman asking him questions in a situation he can't control. https://t.co/IUXM5UfKE1
— Hoot-n-Nanny🦉🦉 (@hawklyf49) October 20, 2020
Stop crying, @realDonaldTrump. Just drop out you little baby. https://t.co/FzW5pYd18g
— Zack Calhoon (@VisibleSoul) October 20, 2020
The commission has said it will allow moderators to mute microphones from now on in order to deter candidates from interrupting each other past the point of productivity.
Barring any surprises, the next debate will take place Thursday night.