Anthony Scaramucci says first presidential debate was an embarrassment to the U.S. – CNBC

SINGAPORE — The first debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was an “embarrassment” to the country, said Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund investor who briefly served as Trump’s White House communications chief.

During the 90-minute debate on Tuesday night, the candidates constantly interrupted each other and the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, struggled to maintain control over the debate proceedings.

“I don’t think anybody won. That debate, you know, was a little bit of an embarrassment to the country, frankly,” Scaramucci, founder and managing partner of Skybridge Capital, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Wednesday.

“I didn’t like it, I think most people didn’t like that debate,” he said, adding that there needs to be a better system to control how upcoming debates are held. Two more debates are scheduled for Trump and Biden on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.   

U.S. stock futures declined following the debate. But Scaramucci said what the markets thought of the debate will only become clearer the next morning.

“I just think it’s a little fickle right now,” he said.

“We all saw the debate, it was a nasty debate, it was an interrupting match if you will,” he added. “I don’t think the polls are going to move that much and if the markets have moved because of the debate, it will settle out over the next open if you will.”

The former White House communications director — who was fired by Trump in 2017 less than two weeks into the job — has previously thrown his support behind Biden. He told CNBC that he maintains his view that Biden will win the November election.

Scaramucci explained that Americans are not better off compared to four years ago when Trump was first elected because of the health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While Trump can’t be blamed for the pandemic, “you can blame him for the way he’s handled it,” he added.

He also said that Biden is a more likeable figure compared to Trump.

“The vice president has the momentum and he’s less polarizing than Donald Trump,” said Scaramucci. “I think the vice president’s gonna beat him.”