The anchors of CNN weighed in after the first presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nomiee Joe Biden on Tuesday night, with one describing their first confrontation as a “s—show.”
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer began the post-debate coverage by declaring it the “most chaotic” debate he’s ever seen, but claiming Biden “clearly showed up” in what was likely a “relief to a lot of the Biden supporters.”
Blitzer’s colleague Jake Tapper held no punches.
“That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a trainwreck,” Tapper reacted. “That was the worst debate I have ever seen and it wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace. And it’s primarily because of President Trump, who spent the entire time interrupting, not abiding by the rules that he agreed to, lying maliciously, attacking the son of the vice president, when asked to condemn the white supremacists, he brought up the name of a neo-fascist, far-right group and said ‘stand back and stand by.’ We’ll talk about who won the debate, who lost the debate, but I could tell you one thing for sure: The American people lost tonight because that was horrific.”
CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash agreed, and took the criticism even further.
“You used high-minded language, I’m just gonna say it like it is. That was a s—show,” Bash told Tapper. “We’re on cable, we can say that, apologies for being a little bit crude, but that is really the phrase that I’m getting from people on both sides of the aisle on texts and it’s the only phrase that I can think of to really describe it. And I couldn’t agree with you more, Jake.”
CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip called the debate a “complete disaster on all fronts.”
“From the very beginning, what was so striking to watch was that usually these debates build and they build and they build to the end. We started at a 12 on a scale of 1-10,” Phillip said.
Tapper later slammed Trump for being “rude,” “not abiding by any standards of decorum or decency” and being “frankly embarrassing.”