Debate Moderator Welker Earns Mixed Reviews, Gets Trump Compliment Mid-Debate

NBC News journalist Kristen Welker earned mixed reviews for her performance moderating the second and final presidential debate on Thursday.

The general consensus was that Welker was far fairer — especially early on in the debate — than past debate moderators have been, though she was hit for showing a pro-Biden bias in the framing of several questions, as well as some inconsistent interrupting.

Notably, at one point in the midst of the debate, President Donald Trump offered Welker a compliment for treating him fairly, a true rarity for Trump when it comes to the mainstream media. “So far, I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” POTUS told her.

The Commission on Presidential Debates’ new rule allowed a “mute” button on Biden and Trump’s mics for their first two-minute responses, a change many credited as helpful for meaningful discourse.

Many politicos quickly reacted to Welker’s performance online.

For example, journalist Yashar Ali commented, “[Kristen Welker] had an impossible task tonight and she did a fantastic job. The best debate moderator in the last two cycles. A) Muting was only for the two minute answer section B) Blame the debate commission for the fact-checking…that is their directive [regarding] moderators.”

Daily Wire podcast host Michael Knowles said, “This moderator was tougher on Trump than she was on Biden, but on the whole she was pretty good,” adding, “Credit where credit’s due: [Kristen Welker] went easier on Biden and tougher on Trump, but overall she did a good job. Much better than Chris Wallace!”

“Kristen Welker deserves a lot of praise for how she moderated that debate tonight. She kept order, asked pertinent follow-up questions, and didn’t make it about herself,” assessed Daily Caller reporter Amber Athey.

Daily Wire podcast host and Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro earlier in the debate praised Welker for her “excellent” performance thus far. But as the night progressed, Shapiro pointed out biased question framing.

“Welker overall doing an excellent job thus far,” he wrote.

Shapiro later highlighted, “Welker should not have cut Trump off on the China allegations. That’s absurd,” and commenting another time, “Welker’s question here — bringing up every gross Trump comment and tweet — will absolutely not be mirrored by a question on Biden’s ‘you ain’t black’ nonsense, I’m sure.”

“Why does Welker constantly interrupt Trump but not Biden?” questioned Marc Thiessen.

“Moderator talks over Trump when Biden gets in trouble, then gives Biden time to respond to what we couldn’t hear Trump say because she was talking over him,” observed Andy McCarthy.

“Welker again cuts Trump off when he starts talking about Biden’s foreign scandal and then asks Biden to respond,” noted Katie Pavlich mid-debate.

Daily Wire podcast host Andrew Klavan posted early in the debate, “The moderator is being really fair. We should mention this. She’s asked Trump tough questions and Biden tough questions. That’s the way it ought to be.”

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