Game On: Moderator Chris Wallace Announces Topics for Next Week's Presidential Debate

AP Photo, File
AP featured image
(AP Photo, File)

Seven days till go-time, America. Fox News host Chris Wallace, the moderator for the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, has announced the topics for next week’s “cage match” in Cleveland, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.


Subject to possible changes due to news developments, the commission announced, the six topics for the September 29 debate are as follows, although not necessarily to be brought up in this order:

  • The Trump and Biden Records
  • The Supreme Court
  • Covid-19
  • The Economy
  • Race and Violence in our Cities
  • The Integrity of the Election

The format for the first debate calls for six 15-minute segments dedicated to the topics announced in advance, “in order to encourage deep discussion of the leading issues facing the country.”

Trump and Biden will square off in three debates, all of which will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET and run for 90 minutes without commercial interruption. The other two presidential debates will be held Oct. 15 in Miami and Oct. 22 in Nashville.

Vice President Mike Pence and Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), will tee off Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The anticipation for political junkies — I am among them — is at a near-fever pitch. That might be a bit hyperbolic, but the stakes are as high as can be, particularly with the death last week of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as if the events of 2020 weren’t already more than enough to lead to intrigue and intense speculation.


Will Trump go off-message, and commit a major gaffe, as did President Gerald Ford in a 1976 debate with challenger Jimmy Carter when he declared: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.”?

And how will Biden perform without his trusty teleprompter?

While Biden’s campaign manager continues to refuse to say whether the 77-year-old nominee uses a teleprompter during TV interviews, Biden was busted in early September, as covered by my RedState colleague Nick Arama, with a screenshot of a reflection in a picture he held up for “The Late Late Show” host James Corden.

And there it was — for all to see.

Democrats are convinced Trump will misstate facts — lie — which is why Biden earlier this month called for live fact-checking during the debates. During a news conference in Delaware, he said:

“I’ve begun to prepare by going over what the president has said, and the multiple lies he’s told. What I’d love to have is a crawler at the bottom of the screen, a fact-checker as we speak.

“If we really wanted to do something, I think that would make a great, great debate if everything both of us said was instantly fact-checked.”


Given Biden’s wild misstatements, most recently when he claimed 200 million Americans have died from Covid-19 complications — two-thirds of the U.S. population — a live fact-checker should be the last thing he should want.

“If Donald Trump has his way, the complications from Covid-19, which are well beyond what they should be – it’s estimated that 200 million people have died – probably by the time I finish this talk.”

One thing is certain. In just seven days, we’re going to see pay-per-view-quality stuff — free of charge. Except for the popcorn, of course.


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