Conservative pundit and author Mark Steyn said Wednesday that the first presidential debate was over-formatted, too focused on peripheral issues and was “locked down in boredom.”
“They always want to over-format it,” Steyn told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“Traditionally these debates … will have 90 second opening statements after which the other party will have 45 seconds for rebuttal to the opening statement followed by a 30 second pre-rebuttal to whatever the next question is — and the whole thing is locked down in boredom.”
He continued, “What people tune in for is what happened last night. The two guys going at it directly.” (RELATED: ‘That Was Horrific’: Here’s How The Press Reacted To The First Presidential Debate)
Steyn said the debate was “terrible,” a verdict that was shared by many media commentators. But Steyn said he is “actually more concerned with the presidential debate commission” reportedly wanting to further tighten control over future debates by shutting off a candidate’s microphone when he isn’t supposed to be talking.
“I don’t believe in the debate commission,” Steyn said, noting that a small anointed panel “should have a monopoly on presidential debates … If they do change the rules, I hope the president manages to smash through them the way he did through the over-formatted format last night.”
Steyn noted that Trump should have provided more “pithy responses” during the debate and just let Joe Biden “exhaust himself” trying to explain his policy position on “environmentally-friendly window treatments.”
“Nobody’s voting on climate change, it’s 37th on people’s list of priorities, it wasn’t on the list of original topics for debate which has to be issued three weeks in advance for some reason and [Trump] should’ve just said ‘there’s a pandemic, there’s a lockdown, there’s looting and burning on the streets of American cities — nobody cares about climate change.’”(RELATED: ‘I’m A Pro. I’ve Never Been Though Anything Likes This.’ Chris Wallace Looks Back At ‘Off The Tracks’ Debate)
A February poll conducted by Pew Research found that 52% of Americans believe climate change should be a top priority for the president and Congress, which is up 22% from 2016. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll conducted in September found that climate change became a top priority for Democrats, according to Reuters.