Rules on debates to change after Trump-Biden spat
Written by Fred on October 1, 2020
The commission that oversees US presidential debates says it will change the format to ensure the remaining two encounters between Donald Trump and Joe Biden are more orderly.
One new measure could be to cut the microphones if the candidates try to interrupt each other, US media report.
The announcement followed Tuesday’s ill-tempered debate that descended into squabbling, bickering and insults.
President Trump’s team has already criticised the commission’s plans.
The tone and tactics of the first presidential debate were criticised across the US and around the world.
The fallout, however, has also been dominated by remarks Mr Trump made about a far-right group called the Proud Boys.
On Wednesday he sought to clarify his comments, but his critics maintain he has refused to condemn white supremacists.
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said in a statement that the debate “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues”.
“The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” it said.
“The commission is grateful to [moderator] Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.”
President Trump constantly interrupted Mr Biden leading to a series of chaotic exchanges in which both men talked over each other.
Mr Trump questioned Mr Biden’s intelligence and Mr Biden called President Trump a clown, telling him to be quiet and saying: “Will you shut up, man?”
CBS News, citing an informed source, said the commission would spend the next 48 hours drawing up new guidelines and rules for the second debate.
Controlling the candidates’ microphones is at the top of the list, CBS said, in order to prevent them interrupting the moderator or each other.
Both campaign teams will be informed of the rules but they will not be subject to negotiation, the source added.
The commission is a nonpartisan body that has organised presidential election debates since 1988.
(SOURCE : BBC)