The presidential debate commission said it will mute candidates during parts of the event this week, allowing both Trump and Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time to answer each moderator question. Both candidates will be unmuted for open discussion afterward. The rule change comes after a chaotic first debate during which Trump, especially, interrupted and talked over Biden and the debate moderator.
The debate rule change allowing for microphones to be muted is likely to anger the Trump campaign.
In a statement, the non-partisan commission noted: “We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today. One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”
Both campaigns had agreed to a format in which each candidate would have two minutes to answer a question from the moderator, before launching into back and forth open discussion.
“The Commission is announcing today that in order to enforce this agreed upon rule, the only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules,” it said in a statement. Both mics will be unmuted for open discussion.
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