Left-wing pundits appeared to try and justify ending presidential debates altogether following the first debate Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio.
Actor Zach Braff questioned why former Vice President Joe Biden would subject himself to another debate with President Donald Trump, claiming there was “absolutely nothing to gain”:
Why would Biden do this again?
There is absolutely nothing to gain.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 30, 2020
“After this, does Biden have a legitimate case to make and more to gain from saying he’s not doing the other two debates?” tweeted New York Times reporter Jeremy W. Peters.
In an earlier tweet, Peters said it was “hard to see how Americans watching won’t be more exhausted after tonight”:
Exhaustion is one factor Trump's strategists always understood was always bad for him. And it's hard to see how Americans watching won't be more exhausted after tonight. https://t.co/TBXYOQz5NV
— Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT) September 30, 2020
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer described the event as “the most chaotic presidential debate” he had ever seen and questioned whether it might the last between Trump and Biden, according to Breitbart News:
And it will certainly raise a lot of questions — raising a lot of questions about the future of the presidential debate between these two candidates. I wouldn’t be surprised, by the way, if this is the last presidential debate between the president of the United States and the former vice president of the United States.
David A. Graham, staff writer at the Atlantic, wrote that if the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) “really wishes to benefit the American electorate, it should cancel the rest of the debate season.”
Director at the UVA Center for Politics Larry Sabato echoed Graham’s comments and claimed it was “impossible to have an orderly, productive exchange with Donald Trump”:
CANCEL THE REMAINING PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES. It is impossible to have an orderly, productive exchange with Donald Trump. Stop pretending otherwise. #Debate2020
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) September 30, 2020
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow told viewers, “this sort of debate shouldn’t happen in a democracy.”
“Not one in which we decide … in which we think that we choose between candidates based on them proposing competing sides of an argument. I just, this is not the night I expected,” Maddow stated.
McClatchy National Political Correspondent Dave Catanese quoted former Obama White House senior adviser David Plouffe’s remarks on MSNBC following the debate as saying, “No moderator, going forward, is going to be able to control Trump if he acts that way”:
"No moderator, going forward, is going to be able to control Trump if he acts that way." — @davidplouffe on MSNBC
"If Trump acts that way, we're going to have the same debate."
— Dave Catanese (@davecatanese) September 30, 2020
In an article for Slate, writer Christina Cauterucci wrote that Americans “gained nothing from this degrading spectacle, which resembled a trashy shock-jock program more than a debate about policy and public service,” and she called for the remaining debates to be canceled:
There is no reason to expect a better result from the next two debates. No matter how stringent the rules or vigorous the moderators, these contests will always take place on the terms of the worst person on the stage. Trump’s verbal abuse steered the debate away from American lives and toward personal accusations.
Cauterucci also claimed President Trump was “no more or less abusive, no more or less truthful, and no more or less interested in governing than he was in the debates four years ago.”
“The only difference is that now, we’re viewing the calamity from inside Donald Trump’s America, which we can see with our own eyes. What more is there to know?” she concluded.