CLEVELAND, Ohio - The future of presidential debates in the United States is up in the air after a chaotic, verbal brawl dominated across the airwaves on Tuesday night as Americans saw for the first time President Donald Trump going head-to-head with rival Joe Biden.
Interruptions and name-calling dominated the session with very little focus on the issues Americans tuned in to hear about.
Moderator, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, a veteran and renowned news anchor, became exasperated after repeatedly trying to restore order to the out-of-control debate. Mr Trump, in a very aggressive mood continually interrupted the moderator and the former vice president, prompting at one time for Biden to call on him to shut up. "Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential," he said.
Atr another point, when being interrupted by the president, Biden said Donald, would you just be quiet for a minute.
Everything hes saying so far is simply a lie. Im not here to call out his lies, Biden added. Everybody knows hes a liar.
Both candidates refused to answer some questions directly. One exchange involved President Trump being asked to condemn white supremacy and militia groups.
"Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence or the number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha, and as we've seen in Portland?" Wallace asked Trump.
"I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right. ... I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace," Trump responded.
"Then do it sir," Wallace repeated.
"Do it, do it. Say it," urged Biden.
"You want to call them. What do you want to call them? Give me a name," asked Trump of the moderator. Wallace responded: "White supremacist an right-wing militias."
Mr Trump continued, "Who would you like me to condemn? The Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what. Somebody's gotta do something about antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem."
The insults involved Biden calling the president a "clown," a "racist," and "Putin's puppy," and at one point turned to Trump and said, "You're the worst president America has ever had."
The interruptions however dominated the debate as both candidates talked over the other, prompting Wallace at one point to take issue with Trump who was leading the way.
"I think that the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions. I'm appealing to you sir to do that," Wallace said to Trump
"Well, and him too," responded the president
"Well, frankly, you've been doing more interrupting," said Wallace
"But he does plenty," replied Trump.
The two men debating, both in their 70s, are the best America has to offer. Americans must be left wondering about their, and their country's future, after the first, and possibly the last debate between them - which was more a debacle than a debate.