It’s a (much-needed) first. The Commission on Presidential Debates revealed new rules that will require President Donald Trump and Joe Biden to use muted microphones during their next debate, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The debate, which is due to take place on Thursday, October 22, will be 90 minutes long. It will be split into six 15-minute segments. The presidential nominees will have two minutes each to give their uninterrupted comments ahead of each debate topic before moving onto the open debate.
Their microphones will be cut off while the other gives their opening answer to each subject to keep both parties from interrupting one another, an issue seen in the first debate that prompted Biden to ask Trump, “Would you shut up, man?“
The discussion portion of the debate will not use the mute feature, but they will still be penalized for speaking over one another. Any interruptions by Biden or Trump will count towards their time in the debate.
The commission reportedly was under pressure from the Trump campaign to leave the rules as they were. Meanwhile, Biden’s camp had been hoping for the debates to be more ordered.
In a statement on Monday, October 19, the commission said it had “determined that it is appropriate to adopt measures intended to promote adherence to agreed upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules.”
Despite the fact that he did not welcome the new rules, the President will still attend the debate. Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said the President “is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate.”
Biden’s campaign has yet to comment on the change.
This comes after the canceled debate between the presidential candidates and their town halls. The change is not surprising, considering the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump was nothing short of chaotic.
Moderator Chris Wallace struggled to keep the President from talking over Biden and warned the President to let him speak. “Frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting,” Wallace said to Trump at one point.
After a short period of cordiality, the debate got messy again. “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown,” Biden snapped.
“Mr. President, can you let him finish, sir?” Wallace asked after Trump interrupted Biden again. “He doesn’t know how to do that,” Biden replied.
According to the Nielsen rating, Biden’s appearance on ABC averaged 13.9, while Trump’s on NBC, and simulcast by MSNBC AND CNBC, hit 13 million. The Nielsen ratings, only gauge TV views and do not count streaming platforms.
Stay tuned to see how well the muted microphones work at the next Presidential Debate on Thursday, October 22.
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