The president’s campaign attacked moderator Chris Wallace as “terrible and biased.” Its senior adviser, Steve Cortes, accused the commission of a “scheme to protect their preferred candidate,” and one of Trump’s strongest champions, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), branded the commission “a disgrace.” The claim is that the commission is composed of Democrats and never-Trump Republicans who — through their selection of moderators, their decision to make the town-hall meeting virtual, and (in the latest accusation) through the moderator’s selection of subjects for the final debate — have corruptly tilted the scale.
As for the commission’s makeup, I can only speak for myself. I am a Republican who has carried my party’s banner in six statewide elections and has supported countless Republican candidates over many years. I also have been highly critical of President Trump.
But the conclusion that any commission member would eschew fair play to push a partisan position is, to put it mildly, ironic. The same people who decline to extend the presumption of fairness to members of the commission rightly assert that Amy Coney Barrett will put aside her personal beliefs on the Supreme Court.