Commission on Presidential Debates to mute microphones under new rules

Cheryl Sanders
October 23, 2020

Microphones will not be muted during the open discussion segments, but any interruptions by either candidate will count toward their time.

"This was supposed to be the foreign policy debate, so the president still looks forward to forcing Biden to answer the number one relevant question of whether he's been compromised by the Communist Party of China", Mr. Stepien said. One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough.

"President Trump 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 favoured candidate", he said in a statement.

“You will shut up” from Biden to Trump changes the rules

The commission had said it was looking at rules changes after the September 29 debate, which was dominated by name-calling and interruptions on the part of both candidates.

"For the good of campaign integrity and for the benefit of the American people, we urge you to rethink and reissue a set of topics for the October 22 debate, with an emphasis on foreign policy", Stepien wrote in the letter, which was dated Monday and posted on his Twitter account. Biden responded to Trump's interruptions with insults.

Stepien accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of being "desperate to avoid conversations about his own foreign policy record" and said the commission was trying to alter the course of the final debate in order to "insulate Biden from his own history" ...

NBC's Kristen Welker, the debate moderator, had previously announced the six topics for Thursday: Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, and Leadership. Thursday's debate was meant to be the third and final of the election season, but the debate scheduled for October 15 was canceled, after the president's COVID-19 diagnosis prompted the Committee on Presidential Debates to make the debate virtual, and Trump refused to participate.

"These people are not good people", he said of the debate commission on Tuesday, in an interview on Fox News, adding there was "nothing fair" about the upcoming event.

Trump meanwhile insisted that he would go through with the debate, in spite of what he claims are "very unfair" circumstances.

The Biden campaign said the commission should stick to the plan the candidates' teams agreed to earlier this year.

Even this sparked complaints from the Trump campaign, which said there should be more discussion of foreign policy. More than 30 million Americans have already cast their ballots.

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