Democrats and Republicans don’t seem to agree on much as the election nears, but many shared similar sentiments about who won the final presidential debate.
President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden? Try again. It was moderator Kristen Welker who stole the show, many said Thursday night.
Even Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated the first debate, praised the skills of the NBC News journalist.
“First of all, I’m jealous,” Wallace said on Fox News. “I would have liked to have been able to moderate that debate and to get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions.”
Susan Page, the USA Today Washington bureau chief who moderated the vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris earlier this month, also gave“kudos” to Welker.
What @kwelkernbc did different from Chris Wallace is that her FIRST question did not pit one candidate against another...this made a big difference in that it set the tone for the rest of the debate and she thus was able to maintain control for full debate pic.twitter.com/MRnmZuZw7E
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) October 23, 2020
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) October 23, 2020
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) October 23, 2020
Some people said Welker asked both candidates tough questions.
Former CBS News journalist Dan Rather, who has been critical of Trump, called Welker a “consummate pro.”
CNN’s Omar Jimenez referred to Welker as the “winner” of the debate.
Brit Hume and Ben Shapiro were among the conservative pundits who praised Welker’s moderating, the Associated Press reported.
Even Trump, who spoke negatively about Welker leading up to the debate, offered her a compliment during the debate.
“By the way, so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” Trump said.
.@kwelkernbc is the most memorable part of this debate...for all the right reasons. She never made it about herself, she controlled the conversation, and she followed up. Bravo, my friend!
— Bianna Golodryga (@biannagolodryga) October 23, 2020
I’m beaming watching Kristen Welker. Such an amazing moment for her and for all who know of her hard work and dedication to journalism. Go girl!
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 23, 2020
After days of despicable and utterly unfair attacks on her character and her family, @kwelkernbc displayed the grit, intelligence and presence needed to preside over a well-run debate. She is deserving of the praise of a grateful nation, and her colleagues are extremely proud.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) October 23, 2020
Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, told CNN everyone at the station was “bursting with pride” for Welker.
“Kristen is beloved and admired by all of us and tonight the whole country knows why,” Oppenheim said.