Rove didn’t hide his feelings about the debate from the beginning of the segment, explaining that in Trump, “We’ve got a guy who is not only saying ‘I’m going to make a decision on who I’m going to endorse shortly after this debate and I’m already leaning someway, and I may run myself’ and we expect him to be the impartial moderator? Could you imagine what would happen if MSNBC hosted a debate and the moderator said ‘I’m going to endorse…’ Nobody would show up!”

Van Susteren argued that a similar situation arose when PBS’s Gwen Ifill moderated a general election debate in 2008 despite having written a book on then-Senator Barack Obama, a situation in which, Rove countered, “all heck broke loose.” There was also the matter that Trump had controversial positions and didn’t have any experience in journalism. “Is Mr. Trump going to ask the candidate whether they agree with him that Barack Obama was not born in the United States… that George W. Bush is ‘evil’?”