Election HQ Wallace: 'Means a Lot' to Be Chosen First FNC General Election Debate Moderator
FAIR AND BALANCED... Don't miss the final presidential debate, moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace, on Wednesday, October 19th at 9:00pm ET on Fox News Channel!
Fox News Sunday anchor and award-winning journalist Chris Wallace spoke to Bret Baier about the honor of being chosen as the first Fox News Channel moderator of a general election presidential debate.
Wallace, who ceded Fox News Sunday hosting duties to Baier so he could prepare for Wednesday night's forum between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, said it "means a lot personally" to be chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to moderate such an important moment in political history.
"It is a statement of where you are in this business...quite frankly it means a lot for Fox," he said.
"I've got a couple of more days and I'll be tweaking...but I'm pretty close [to being ready]," Wallace said of the debate, airing Wednesday October 19th at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel.
He discussed criticisms that previous moderators have come under due to perceived fact-checking or interjections.
"I think if there's a need for me to intervene, I will, but I'd prefer not to...you're not a participant," he said, "This is...civics; the Constitution in action because this is helping millions of people decide who we're going to elect as the next president."
Wallace, who succeeded the late Tony Snow as host of Fox News Sunday in 2003, said debate preparations were indeed "a lot of pressure and a lot of stress."
He told Baier the preparation team consists of just himself, his researcher and his executive producer.
"It's just the three of us against the world, here."
Wallace said he has known both of the candidates, from a journalist's perspective, for a long time--meeting both for the first time in 1988.
As a floor reporter at that year's Republican National Convention in New Orleans, he interviewed Donald Trump, who said of any future candidacy, "I think I'd have a very good chance--I like to win."
He met Hillary Clinton around the same time, after Bill Clinton gave the nominating speech for the Democratic presidential candidate, Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-Mass.).
Wallace also said his late father, 60 Minutes mainstay Mike Wallace, would be happy to see his son be given such an honor.
"I think how proud he would be. I also think that if he could he'd try to steal it from me," Wallace said of his moderating duty, "but once he learned he couldn't, he'd say, 'that's my boy'."