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Whitlock’s Take: Trump-Biden Debate Is A Pointless Sh*tshow

It’s the Presidential Debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger and former VP Joe Biden. And Outkick partner and columnist Jason Whitlock is here to share his thoughts about the proceedings.

Take it away, Jason:

Early on: Trump sounds desperate

My read on presidential debates is always about the tone of the debaters. Are they reflecting the tone of the average American? Are they projecting a persona and tone enticing to potential voters?

I don’t like President Trump’s tone. He sounds more desperate than I anticipated. He’s been too combative with Fox host Chris Wallace. People like and respect Chris Wallace. It’s a mistake to go at him so hard. It makes President Trump seem insecure.

Middle rounds: Biden exceeding expectations

The expectations for Vice President Joe Biden were so low that it was going to be difficult for him to be that bad. He wasn’t. He sounded sharp and on point, based on the pre-debate expectations.

Vice President Biden is benefitting from being the underdog. He’s in the fight. He’s standing up to President Trump. Biden’s supporters are going to be thrilled with his performance. 

Biden playing “rope-a-dope” with Trump?

I’m shocked that President Trump didn’t spend more time championing the black unemployment rate when Chris Wallace asked the first question about race and racism. President Trump talked about Biden’s crime bill and Trump credited Hillary Clinton’s “super predator” comment to Biden.

And then President Trump pivoted to talking about the military and law and order. 

This feels like Vice President Biden is pulling off the “rope-a-dope.” He baited Trump into believing he was incapable of surviving a debate. 

Overall: Affirmations and surprises

This debate confirms why I don’t like politics. This debate accomplished nothing. It sounded like Twitter. 

Some of that is on the format. Most of the questions were stupid and asked to please Twitter. There was very little of substance said Tuesday night. In the next debate, they should cut the microphone off of the person who is not supposed to be speaking.

President Trump interrupted Vice President Biden and Chris Wallace too often. 

Overall I was surprised that President Trump didn’t respond with more confidence. COVID-19 undermined the president’s confidence and willingness to stand on his record. And I was really shocked that Sleepy Joe Biden stayed awake.

And the winner is . . .

I’m giving the first debate to Sleepy Joe. It wasn’t a knockout. It wasn’t an impressive victory. He lasted all 15 rounds and President Trump directed too many punches at Wallace.

None of it matters. People already know how they’re voting. 

Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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53 Comments

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  1. American politics is so absurd. Biden is a buffoon, and if Trump was more disciplined and dignified, he would have looked better.

    I am sure most people throw their remotes at the tv and wanted to shut off the debate. Twitter reactions are too funny.

    • ☝️ this

      Wallace interjected himself too much. And for context I felt like a Trump was kind of ready for Wallace to come after him a little harder because Wallace had already done a long sit down interview with him, so he knew what to expect more. Chris aint effin Mike.

  2. Chris Wallace is a joke! Sorry that guy has proven he leans left. Trump may not be great but I am not about to reward these corrupt politician! 47 years if selling out America for this globalist BS!

  3. What a s*^t show. I agree with Whitlock that Trump seems desperate. Instead of letting Joe step on his own d*ck, he’s been trying to bait him. To Joe’s credit, he’s held his own and made Trump look foolish as he argues with Chris Wallace.

  4. Chris Wallace was the best chance the Pres had for a straight shot to market himself to ANY independents…instead he got caught up in a 👃🏻 measuring contest. If there are any more debates, the playing field will not be as close to even. What a debacle. When has anyone ever told the POTUS to “shut up man.” 💩💩💩

  5. As soon as Wallace said each candidate will have two minutes to answer, I knew is was going to be a shitshow. That’s not a debate. That’s stuffing in as many talking points as possible.

    I, too, thought Trump was aggressive, but also realized that he got to Biden very early, when Biden started to call him names. Strategy.

  6. An accurate summary of the debate. I think Trump will be better pick for the country, however, I don’t think he did very well tonight. Too much talking over the moderator and Biden. Biden didn’t have the major gaffe that everyone was expecting. I think Biden’s lead will widen after tonight.

    • Some of Biden major Gaffes: 100 million people with preexisting conditions. I am the Democratic Party, Hunter’s relationship with China, Ukraine, Russia debunked (senate report not news), and I don’t want to answer about packing the court because I don’t want that to be the story. The last possibly the weakest answer by a candidate ever

    • I was among those who were expecting Biden to have a major gaffe. I’m shocked he didn’t. I really don’t know what to think of Biden. He’s definitely slipped some since his time as V.P., but maybe he did pull a “rope-a-dope” as Whitlock said….Also, as Whitlock has said so often, Twitter has certainly lowered our level of discourse.

      I’m not saying I support Biden and the Democrats. I still analogize their alignment with BLM to having made a pact with the devil. I’m just saying Biden surprised me (but the bar was so low for him, he didn’t have to do much to surprise me or anyone else)

  7. I think Chris Wallace’s questions were skewed to the left/Biden. Many questions aimed at Biden were softball and did not follow on when Biden was inaccurate/contradicted himself. Left many key topics off the table for Biden (Hunter related, Xenophobic comments regarding COVID, far left comments, BLM marxist ties/nuclear family, etc.) where he was clearly more aggressive towards Trump. Feel like Trump was making sure things being omitted from questioning were being called out.

  8. You my guy Jason but I have to disagree. Trump didn’t result to name calling and Chris Wallace was like a WWF referee in the ring aiding Biden with his liberal bias. Trump got Sleepy Joe to eat the green deal Trump got sleepy Joe to omit he has no law enforcement support. Got him to back down on radical left wing socialist polices. You might not like Trumps tactics but he won. Sleepy Joe now has to deal with his radical Vice President, Socialist Bernie Sanders and radical democrats AOC that he through under the bus saying he’s the Democratic Party not them. It was a knock out by Trump .👍

  9. I disagree respectfully Jason, I see your tone point but that’s Trump, if he changes his tone I think he would lose support. But in reality Wallace was not neutral, he didn’t push back on Antifa, court packing or critical race theory which is not sensitivity training. Trump fights the media every day, he can’t acknowledge or accept Wallace he has to challenge, he will be even more aggressive with Future moderators. Wallace I think will be the best of the 3 but it’s a low bar. Personally I think Trump should roll out a demand that the police roll out mandatory body cams monitored by a neutral agency under guise of police protection. Shooting footage must be released in 48 hours and if news stations air footage earlier that is selectively edited to stoke violence either direction, they are held financially liable for all damage and can be prosecuted for inciting riots. They can opine, they can cite unconfirmed reports, but if they demonstrably lie we can hold them accountable. Still love you guys Jason and Clay! We can’t always agree on everything, you are going to be wrong occasionally! Just Kidding, look forward to your next take

  10. Whitlock, you are right about everything when it comes to media censorship and it being one sided to a certain group. However, even Fox News at times, Chris Wallace for example, has not given the President a fair shake. Shouldn’t he push back and fight for his stance that he wants the American people to see when the moderator is being more combative with him and not much at all with Biden? Chris Wallace seemed to be angry at Trump all night, but not with Biden. The moderator can’t ever be angry. People did not tune in watch Chris Wallace. Again, it shows the bias of the media, even Chris Wallace. At that point, yes, the President should do what he has to do. Joe Biden has nothing to lose, the incumbent President has everything to lose. Trump’s desperate? I’d rather have the aggressive team, that fights till the end against the Marxists that you speak of so frequently, instead of the person who seemed like he wanted to get out of there and go home. Like President Trump or not, you have to be inspired by his fight and work ethic. If you’re looking for traditional politics, that’s been long gone. A LONG TIME AGO. This is a spiritual battle. Man has always let man down. Why continue to place your FAITH in him? Who’s acknowledging God, and who’s not?

  11. Chris Wallace wants to have a job after Pres. Trump leaves office.
    That’s why the swamp is what it is…because they think they are forever…indestructible.
    2016 was a sea change for people who’ve seen the USA become almost unrecognizable and seen their children become fodder and grist.
    If you have children…grandchildren…a job you take pride in doing every day…a religion to give you strength in times of stress…high school sports…community volunteerism…your local bar…your local bowling league…the neighborhood wives’ once a month dinner…and fifty other things you take for granted without even realizing it…
    If these things matter to you…then tonight was anything but a shit show.
    It should be a reminder…a glimpse at what kind of future you want.

  12. I wasn’t crazy about the debate. The framework was flawed. 2 minutes is not enough to fully answer a question. I’ve never been a Chris Wallace fan either. His dad was a big Dem and he’s a definite lefty. Bringing up Charlottesville was ridiculous. At that time Trump said that there were good people on both sides of the “statue removal issue”. Wallace is also a climate change backer. The climate change question was tied to the fires in California. Does Chris not know that arson is a big part of the problem. Forest management is basically non-existent because of the environmentalists. Trump interrupted too often and was argumentative, but if I was being attacked 24/7 like Trump has been (for his entire term) I’d probably act the same. Biden was shallow, insulting and got destroyed on law and order.

    • Dead on. Confirmed arson, complete lack forest management due to years of misguided environmental concerns… and climate change is the only thing Wallace focuses on. Not saying it’s a non factor, but management is a real world solution to deal with a problem and Trump laid it out pretty well. Just one example of the substance last night… they style was 100% shit show, and it did bug me, but on substance Joe got away with too many inaccuracies that weren’t called out.

    • Totally agree, Steve…and at some point you know Trump just wanted to do a LeBron scream out loud. Putting up with 4 years of being called Hitler…and having your FBI, DOJ, and intelligence community attempt a WH coup — started by Hillary and the DNC before the 2016 election???
      Man if that was me, I’d be a little bit nasty, too.

  13. Whitlock, look at this from Trump’s view, Dan Bongino made the best argument tonight and it makes sense. For Trump, this wasn’t about a productive debate, Joe is going to say exactly what moderates want to hear. This was about Trump firing up his base and getting them to vote in person. Those who watched and said they don’t like the way he came off, that’s fine, but I guarantee they didn’t get excited about Biden either and therefore probably won’t vote. Its the same from 2016, Trump supporters love him and will show up at polls, Biden has no supporters, just Trump haters, they won’t show up to vote, which is why they are mailing ballots out to anyone in hopes they will vote Biden. Trump showed tonight that he is and will always be the Alpha male in the room and Joe showed that he is still the Beta male he always has been.

  14. Well it really shouldn’t, because I mean Biden did well in the debates against Bernie. So I mean he shown he can pull it together and just be himself, that same self that hes been for 50 years in public politics, for a contained period of time. There were no mystery or ambush questions, they knew the topics ahead a time and he only had to be cogent for 2 or 3 minutes at a time.

    But the bar was set low for Biden. After so much speculation just showing up and being able to talk was a victory for him.

  15. Substance: Trump B- Biden C
    Style: Trump D+ Biden B-
    Professionalism: Trump C Biden C+
    Average: Trump C Biden C+

    Wallace was an embarrassment. Should’ve known these two egos can’t be controlled. It was the equivalent of a soccer ref constantly giving yellow cards. Just let them play, it’s not about YOUR agenda.

    Technically, Biden won. But no one will gain anything tonight. This was a complete shit show.

  16. JW people like and respect Chris Wallace? LOL come on man he is left leaning always hammers the conservative more than lefties i am surprised he is still on Fox. Tone doesn’t matter its about the record of the past 4 years biden has said hes raising taxes and throwing regulations back on business will shut down the economy again if necessary . biden has nothing to offer the American people if he did he would have already done it 47 years start naming his accomplishments please i will wait.

  17. I agree with Jason. Biden didn’t pass out and he was ok, but he said nothing about what he stands for. Almost everything he said was not true or was just saying what a bad person Trump was. Trump had a lot to counter punch Biden on but went off on tangents instead. He needs to be more disciplined and just counter what Biden says. Yeah, Trump was more aggressive than he should have been but Biden is about as tough as a wet noodle. A wet noodle would not make a strong president. Trump should have mentioned the long term financing he gave to historically black colleges, HBCUs, especially since Biden said he went to Delaware State, a HBCU. Delaware State said he never attended college there. It was a shit show. Still voting for Trump though, cause no matter what the dems, lefties or RINOs say, trump has done more good things for this country in 47 months than Biden has done in 47 years, and it’s not even close. The fact that Biden could be president after doing nothing in political office in almost 50 years is just crazy to me.

  18. Trump needs to stop focusing on what other people are doing to him. No one wants to hear it and no one other than his base cares, even thought its all true. Run your record, Mr President – how the fuck does he does not mention two Nobel prize nominations? Or his record with the black community? Or run Biden’s list of anti-black comments over the last 40 years? Call Joe out clearly on his flip flops — there are many. Not a mention of pro life, pro school choice, second amendment, border security, etc. Run the record, mix in a couple salient data points, gut punch that stupid fucking grin off Biden’s face, and go home. Biden’s whole approach is “i know you are but what am i.” And Trump fell for it. Infuriating as hell. They should have been carrying Biden out in a body bag. Its not that complicated.

  19. I likened it to a a first sit down with someone you have had a huge fight with and you come to the table for the first time. Accusations have been made for years and you’re finally able to ‘try’ to defend accusations. No one is listening. You keep throwing in things. Just animosity. I’ve always said that you need a good counselor in between you when this happens (which it has in my life) who can guide you through the healing process. It wasn’t a debate. It’s two men who despise each other. Period. Trump is not a politician. Doesn’t make me dislike him. I’m opposed to politicians saying whatever just to get votes, and my disdain for politics is born in that alone. Joe doesn’t support law enforcement and has called Trump a racist. Called him a clown. Those are fighting words and you’re not gonna get far when you start name calling. This one is out the way, so maybe their next counseling session will go a bit smoother because I’m sure both of their teams will chastise them for losing their cool. They both did. Overall, it just confirmed that we have old politics as usual versus a businessman that doesn’t play by debate rules.
    I will probably have a stiff drink next time handy.

  20. With all respect to Whitlock, he is wrong on this. Politics is the ultimate bloodsport. I want Donald Trump in my corner every time when it comes to fighting for America. Trump took shots at Wallace because it was 2 against 1 and he still held his own. Can’t wait for the next one!!!

  21. Chris Wallace was appalling as usual. I don’t know how or why this hack gets to be a “moderator”. He was just his usual inane self trying to land gotcha shots on Trump such as the pitiful NYTimes try, “Is it true you only paid $750 in income tax”? How does this ever get into a Presidential debate? I’ll bet that Trump’s accounts cost more than $750/hr. I turn off the TV or change the channel as soon as I hear or see Chris Wallace, I made an exception this time and regret it.

    • So funny, Robert, how everybody ignores that the IRS regularly audits Trump. Pretty sure we would have known if there was a scandal. But how many times did Chris Wallace throw that $750 number at the president. How about Wallace asking Sleepy Joe how much Hunter made from Ukraine and China while flying on Air Force 2 with his dad, Obama’s “point man” on foreign relations.

  22. I, like most Americans I believe, understood the circus of a debate we were getting. So I did not watch. The highlights I’ve gleaned here and elsewhere seem to support your general view: Trump was a bit overbearing.

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