Loyola Speech and Debate Coach Says He ‘Would Have Walked Off’ VP Debate Stage
'Rude', 'unprofessional', 'out of control', 'I would have walked off the stage'. The reaction from champion Loyola Speech and Debate coach Matt Stergios after Tuesday night's Vice Presidential debate.
After coaching the state speech and debate team at Loyola to 33 state championships, Matt Stergios freely discussed his disgust at the performance of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence during their single debate at Longwood University in New York.
"While I want my students to be informed about the world around them, I hope our debaters didn't watch, because that's how you don't debate," Stergios said. "When a candidate interrupts over and over again, when they talk over each other, if I'm a judge they're going to get the loss.They're being rude, impolite and unprofessional. Even if what they say is golden, there have to be rules of civility."
Stergios said the moderators in both debates tried their best to keep the candidates in line, but were unsuccessful.
"Frankly, if I'm moderating a debate and it gets like that, I would just walk off," he said. "You guys seem to be intent on ignoring my questions or my prompts, so apparently you guys don't need me here, so I'm leaving. Enjoy your conversation. I would walk off."
Stergios said he would be willing to take the heat for walking off the stage.
"I'd probably get a lot of heat for walking off and people would question my integrity and my toughness, but I'm fed up with this. The American people expect more, but you guys don't seem to care about that. This is a pretty close election and I think all the candidates are pulling out all the stops to make sure they get their licks in while they can, even though the rules of the debate were far different from the way they conducted it, and that's just really disappointing."
Stergios said the stakes are high in this election, with so many actual policy decisions that need to be discussed, and the American people want to hear a responsible dialogue, and for the candidates to play by the rules.