NBC’s Kristen Welker Showed Everyone How Moderating Is Done At Final Debate

When asked for his thoughts on the debate, Fox News’ Chris Wallace—who moderated the infamously chaotic first presidential debate—said, “I’m jealous.”

Moderator NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker participates in the debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee | Getty Images
Moderator NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker participates in the debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee | Getty Images

NBC anchor and correspondent Kristen Welker expertly and authoritatively moderated the final presidential debate, which many feared would be as chaotic as the first one.

Welker, the first Black woman to moderate a general election presidential debate since Carole Simpson of ABC in 1992, calmly yet firmly guided the second and final debate between President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which was held live Thursday night at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Though the Commission on Presidential Debates announced earlier this week that it would enforce muting the mic of whichever candidate didn’t have the floor to speak beyond their 2-minute opening answers to questions during the final debate, Welker largely managed to keep the peace between Trump and Biden herself — occasionally allowing quick rebuttals but firmly asserting when it was time to move on to another topic. 

When Trump began making baseless claims about Biden’s family, Welker steered Trump to talk about foriegn relations with China. 

Welker also held Trump accountable for several claims he made during the debate. When the president blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the stalled passage of another stimulus package for Americans struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, she responded, “But you’re the president.”

Trump, who maintained decorum more so than he did in the prior debate, even praised Welker’s moderation Thursday night — even though he’d criticized her days earlier on Twitter.

“By the way, so far, I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” Trump said.

Many online praised Welker’s expert moderating performance. 

When Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated the infamously chaotic first presidential debate, was asked about the second debate Thursday, he responded “Well, first of all, I'm jealous.”

“I would have liked to have been able to moderate that debate." Wallace said.