Presidential debate 2020 memes: ‘Worse than a Real Housewives reunion’ – CNET


Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden went after each other the minute 2020’s chaotic first presidential debate started at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Moderator Chris Wallace, anchor of Fox News Sunday, struggled to keep order as the candidates fought over their records, the timing of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, race and violence in cities and the integrity of the election. 

Fight night 

It didn’t take long for the candidates to begin interrupting and talking over each other, with viewers quickly comparing the event to the infamous fights that take place on the Real Housewives reality TV franchise, especially during the reunion shows. 

“This is ridiculous,” wrote one Twitter user. “These two are worse than a Real Housewives fight.’

What’s worse? 

“I have been in a car crash, this is worse,” wrote one Twitter user.

Biggest mask ever

Of course, the coronavirus outbreak came in for heated debate, with Biden accusing the president of not doing enough to protect the nation, and the president at one point saying Biden “shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” The mask comment especially drew the attention of social-media commenters.

“Where can I order the biggest mask you’ve ever seen?” asked one Twitter user.

‘Shut up’

At one point, Biden asked the president, “Will you shut up, man?” And that phrase took off on social media.

Even the president’s former opponent, Hillary Clinton weighed in.

Where’s Zoom when you need it?

Many viewers compared the night with an out-of-control Zoom meeting in need of a mute button.

“10 bucks that Chris Wallace requests the next debate to be over Zoom so he can hit the mute button,” wrote one Twitter user.


It’s fair to say that the reaction to the unprecedented evening was equally unprecedented.

Jake Tapper said on CNN that “That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck. That was the worst debate I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace.”

And Dana Bash added, “I’m just going to say it like it is. That was a shitshow.”

Tuesday’s debate is the first of three, with the next event on Oct. 15 in Miami, and the third and final presidential debate on Oct. 22 in Nashville. A vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris is scheduled for Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City.

“Can’t believe there’s two more of these,” wrote comedian and political commentator Bill Maher. “It’s like making a sequel to Cats.”