July 29, 2021

Debate Commission To Mute Candidates’ Mics At Start Of Each Segment

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced changes to the debate rules ahead of Thursday’s final presidential debate.

Under the new rules, President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will each have two minutes of uninterrupted time to speak at the beginning of every 15-minute segment of the debate.

“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 announced. After that, there will be time for discussion with both candidates’ microphones open.

The commission says both campaigns have agreed to the two-minute, uninterrupted rule.

It’s an effort to allow Trump and former Vice President Biden more equitable time to answer questions in the final presidential debate.

The decision comes after a chaotic first presidential debate that saw significant interruptions from both major party candidates, primarily from Trump.

The Sept. 29 debate, moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, was widely criticized for its off-the-rails nature and lack of structure.

Trump and Biden had been scheduled for a debate last week, but that was canceled because of a dispute over safety protocols (Trump had been hospitalized days after the first debate with COVID-19). The presidential rivals separately held competing town halls last week instead.

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