Moderator Chris Wallace was the real hero of the final US presidential debate

How’d I do?
How’d I do?
Image: AP Photo/John Locher
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

It’s over! If you’re reading this, you survived the 2016 US presidential debates. Tonight (Oct. 19), the last debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chris Wallace, an anchor for Fox News, was the moderator and, well…

… he did very well. Some might even call him a hero, for the way that he kept both candidates in line, focused on the issues, fact-checked, and delivered the most substantive debate of the 2016 election.

Fox News’ slogan is “Fair and Balanced,” and while the network as a whole hasn’t exactly lived up to that mantra, Wallace certainly did tonight. It wasn’t a perfect performance (if there is such a thing), but Wallace ultimately had more good moments than bad.

Here’s a rundown:

The good

  • Wallace asked mostly substantive issues, including important questions about the shape of the US supreme court, abortion rights, and immigration.
  • He pressed Trump on the question of whether or not he’d overturn the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding women’s right to abortions, Roe v. Wade, when Trump tried to avoid answering it.
  • He pressed Clinton on her vote against a law that would have banned late-term abortions.
  • He allowed Clinton to defend herself when Trump wrongly accused her of “being for ‘the wall.'”
  • He kept things moving without veering too far off track.
  • He fact-checked Trump on the hacking of American emails, which the US intelligence community believes have ties to Russia. (Trump insisted that we don’t know for sure who was behind them.)
  • He quieted the crowd several times when it erupted in laughter.
  • He fact-checked Trump on the Trump Foundation using money to settle the candidate’s personal law suits.
  • He pressed Trump on his refusal to accept the results of the election and take part in a peaceful transfer of power, as is American tradition. (Trump, who’s claimed the election is rigged, said he’ll “keep you in suspense” about whether or not he’ll accept the results of the election.)

Wallace earned plenty of praise online:

The bad

  • Wallace’s worst moment was his line of questioning about the economy. Wallace suggested that president Barack Obama’s stimulus package has led to slow economic growth, which many on Twitter correctly pointed out was misleading.

The funny