Fox News anchor Chris Wallace in an interview with his network Thursday said President Trump "bears the primary responsibility for what happened" at Tuesday night's debate, which at times turned incomprehensible.

Why it matters: Much of the national discussion after the hectic event has centered on whether Wallace failed to control the candidates, particularly Trump, whose interruptions set the tone for the night.

  • Wallace, speaking with colleague Bill Hemmer, cited a Fox News analysis that shows Trump interrupted Biden 71 times and Wallace 74 times throughout the night — a total of 145 times, "which is way more than one a minute," Wallace added.
  • "I guess I thought originally the president was going to engage in a debate with Biden and let Biden answer so they could go back and forth. That was a misapprehension," Wallace said.

Where it stands: The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it plans to implement rule changes for the remaining debates to include "additional structure."

  • Wallace said, as a moderator, he would not want to be able to mute the president's microphone, an idea some have floated: "I don't want to be in the position of saying I'm gonna interpose myself between the president and the public and say you can't hear what he has to say now. I think that's a pretty tough spot to put any moderator in."

Worth noting: Wallace is a veteran of the business and has moderated a presidential debate with Trump before. Wallace was lauded for his ability to tame Trump during the third debate of the 2016 election with Hillary Clinton.

The Fox anchor shared advice for C-SPAN's Steve Scully, who will moderate a town-hall-style discussion for the next debate on Oct. 15:

  • "I would use the fact that you're talking to real people and it's not just two politicians and a journalist as an opportunity to try to keep some order."

Go deeper

The final debate

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
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Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.