The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was a bit of a disaster.
With more than 1.8 million people watching on livestream, the debate was plagued by a host of problems and, as the Associated Press reported, “the first two debates were so contentious that the moderators had to intervene several times to keep the proceedings moving.”
The third debate, between Vice President Mike Pence and Republican nominee John Kasich, was the most contentious and featured many controversies, including the moderator not being able to give the candidates any time to speak after their responses, Trump repeatedly calling Cruz “the most dangerous man in America,” and Trump repeatedly hitting Kasich on a number of topics.
Trump was criticized for calling Cruz a “birther” (a term that originated on the far right fringe) and for interrupting the vice president while he was delivering a speech in Iowa.
In the final debate, Trump and Clinton faced off on foreign policy.
While the two candidates made brief comments on their respective stances on Syria and Iran, it was the moderator, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who made the final call in the final showdown, and the moderator was not even on stage to give his final response.
That is not the first time Trump and Pence have struggled to get their words out.
During the first presidential debates, they often did not get a chance to respond to each other’s questions or make any clear statements during the debate.
During their first presidential primary debate in June 2016, Trump went off on a tirade about Stephanopoulos after he said that the billionaire businessman did not have the best temperament for the job.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Trump said: “I am tired of watching the very dishonest George Stephanopolous, who was the greatest moderator in the history of television, fail in his job.
I am tired.
We need a new, great, great moderator.
I will be looking for a new one immediately.
I’m not even going to talk about his bad temperament, which is disgusting, because that is what George Stephanopoulous is.
I want a new and great moderator!”
Trump has been criticized for saying during the second presidential debate that Cruz’s father was “the father of ISIS.”
(The father of the terrorist group that is ISIS was born in Canada and is named Abdullah Al-Hussein Nasrallah Al-Amriki, according to a report from the U.K.’s Independent newspaper.)
Stephanopoulos called Trump’s comment “troubling,” and later apologized for it.
“He’s not the father of ISIL, he’s the father,” Stephanopoulos said at the time.
“That was an unfortunate, unfortunate comment that I made.
And he was right.
That was the comment I made.”
Trump also told ABC News in June that he was going to “fire” Stephanopoulos.
“I will fire anybody who’s a racist, who’s homophobic, who has anti-Semitism, who is a xenophobe, I will fire anyone who is nasty to my opponents.
And that includes people that are good people, like George Stephanok, who did a great job on our debate,” Trump said.
Trump later apologized and said that he meant “to say, if I were a judge, he should be thrown out of the country.”
In addition to the controversy over the first two presidential debates that Trump and his running mate Mike Pence faced off in June, they faced a similar controversy in November when Trump called for the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The North Korean government, however, denied that the North Korean dictator ordered the assassination.