The next presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is set to include a mute button in order to avoid unnecessary interruptions.
The first presidential debate was characterised by constant interruptions and prevented any reasonable conversation around important policy decisions. This has led to new rules which would mute the mics of the other candidate, while Trump and Biden answer questions for two uninterrupted minutes.
The new rule comes into place, just three days before the final presidential debate between Trump and Biden in Nashville, Tennessee. The commission adopted the new measure “to promote adherence to agreed upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules.”
“Both campaigns this week again reaffirmed their agreement to the two-minute, uninterrupted rule. 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 commission said in a Monday evening statement, as reported by The Hill.
“For the balance of each segment, which, by design, is intended to be dedicated to open discussion, both candidates’ microphones will be open.”
The 90 minute debate will be divided into six 15 minute segments where each candidate will be given two minutes of uninterrupted time to respond to a question before an open discussion that allows candidates to exchange rhetorical blows.
The Trump campaign was critical of the commission’s move to make the rule changes, saying that it was favouring the Biden campaign, to which the commission responded that they “realise, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today.”