Presidential debate commission allows for muting microphones so Trump and Biden can have uninterrupted time

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Presidential debate commission allows for muting microphones so Trump and Biden can have uninterrupted time

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates announced it will employ new rules at the next debate to mute microphones to allow each presidential candidate gets two minutes of uninterrupted time.
  • The move was designed to provide “additional structure … to the format of the remaining debates in order to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” according to a statement from the commission.
  • President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will appear on the debate stage for a second time on October 22 in Nashville.
  • A post-debate analysis by The Washington Post found that interjections by Trump accounted for more than 75% of interruptions that happened during the debate as a whole.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced a new rule to mute microphones, allowing each candidate to have two minutes of uninterrupted time.

The move was designed to provide “additional structure … to the format of the remaining debates in order to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” according to a statement from the commission.

Following the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, the commission wrote in the statement that it “has considered the opinion of many who expressed concern that the debate fell short of expectations, depriving voters of the opportunity to be informed of the candidates’ positions on the issues.”

“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,” the statement read.

“For the balance of each segment, which by design is intended to be dedicated to open discussion, both candidates’ microphones will be open.”

 

Trump and Biden will appear on the debate stage for a second time on October 22 in Nashville.

Tensions were high during the first presidential debate on September 29 as moderator Chris Wallace had trouble reining in the candidates, who were cutting into the other’s speaking time.

A post-debate analysis by The Washington Post found that interjections by Trump accounted for more than 75% of interruptions that happened during the debate as a whole. A count by Slate said the president interrupted both Biden and Wallace a total of at least 128 times.

Another debate was scheduled for October 15, which was planned to take place virtually after Trump tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. The Trump campaign indicated that it did not want to participate in the debate virtually, and the Biden campaign went on to schedule a town hall with ABC News for the same day.

The Trump campaign subsequently planned a town hall with NBC News at the same time, and the debate commission released a statement on October 9 that the second debate would be cancelled in light of the separate events.

In the statement from the debate commission regarding the new rules, the panel recognized 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,” the statement concluded.

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