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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

Florida swing voters desperate for an end to the race

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After months of a grueling campaign season, some swing voters around Florida are desperately searching for an end to this cycle — even if it means accepting a President Biden win after they voted for President Trump.

Why it matters: Fatigue over the level of political outreach and content they've been inundated with during this race — as well as fear that there will be extreme civil unrest no matter who wins — is pushing these voters to accept a president they don't even want if it means the chaos will end.

1 hour ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Collective.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).