Chris Wallace: Democratic Debates Like a ‘Witness Protection Program’

By Mark Joyella 

As Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace prepares to co-moderate another Republican presidential debate (January 28 on FNC), he thinks the Democrats are missing an opportunity by holding their debates on other networks–and on weekends.

“I understand they think we tilt right, but there are a heck of a lot of independents and moderate Democrats who watch,” Wallace told The Observer. “I think they are missing a huge audience.”

Some Democratic candidates have argued the idea of missing a huge audience is intentional. Wallace joked the recent Democratic debate, held on a Saturday night before Christmas, was like “a witness protection program.”

Fox News announced last month the January debate would again feature Wallace, along with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier. The August debate became the most-watched cable news program in history.

To keep things moving this time around, Wallace says he won’t be the center of attention, but does intend to keep the candidates to the rules:

Any strategies to cut off filibustering candidates? Yes. Brit Hume said we need a bell. If you ring the bell enough, people can’t ignore it.

Some politicians, such as Carly Fiorina and John Kasich, ignore the bells and buzzers. Not with us they haven’t; the bell is tougher to talk over than a moderator saying “Senator!” One of the lines you can always use in your back pocket is, “Senator, you agreed to these rules, as did every body else.”

Will Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes throw a question or two into the mix? They never have.