Governor Justice says he was saddened by ‘food fight’ presidential debate

Gov. Jim Justice, who often describes his close relationship with President Donald Trump, said he was disappointed by the tone of the first presidential debate.

“You watch grown men interrupting and grown men who can’t even answer questions, I was really, really saddened by the whole thing,” Justice said during a briefing today.

“I hope to goodness we won’t continue having debates like that. I hope there will be a lot, a lot of good to maybe come out of a disappointing moment.”

The debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was characterized by cross talk and interruptions, with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News straining to maintain order.

Both candidates interrupted, but most were by Trump. At one point, Biden snapped, “Would you shut up, man?”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates today said it is adding new “tools to maintain order” to the upcoming debates.

The commission said it is “carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”

The next presidential debate between Trump and Biden is a town hall format Oct. 15 in Miami. The two then are scheduled to go head to head in the final presidential debate Oct. 22 in Nashville.

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., are matched up next Wednesday for the vice presidential debate.

Justice was asked about last night’s debate during a regular coronavirus briefing today.

“Just to tell it like it is, I was really disappointed in the debate in every way,” he said. “Here we have two individuals running for the highest office in the entire world, and it turned into an ugly food fight.

“I just think Gosh, I hate like crazy for us in the United States of America to have that.”

The debate got bad reviews all around. Jon Meacham, a historian who has written several books about presidents, wrote that it was an incomparably low moment.

Gregory Noone

A similar sentiment was shared by Gregory Noone, a political science professor at Fairmont State University.

“It was disorienting. It was exhausting. It was a disservice to the American people and our democracy, and frankly an embarrassment,” Noone said today on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”

The debate should have represented an opportunity to lay out a vision for large audiences of the American public, Noone said.

“At no time will either candidate have as big a platform to make their case,” he said. “I really think it devolved so quickly. And neither one was really able to talk about what their vision is. We saw some snippets. There were moments. That’s not what the American people deserve.”

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