Former Vice President Joe Biden And the President Trump Their microphones will be muted during episodes of the second and final presidential debate on Thursday night, the commission on presidential talks announced Monday.
The decision came after the commission met Monday afternoon to discuss potential rule changes in the format of the debate. With the president frequently interrupting the former vice president, they decided changes were needed because the first discussion between Biden and Trump led to confusion.
“I will participate, I think it’s very unfair,” Trump said when asked by reporters Monday.
Muting works like this:
- At the beginning of each of the six sections of the discussion, each candidate is given two minutes to answer the opening question.
- In that part, the opponent candidate microphone is muted.
“According to the terms of discussion, each candidate should have two minutes of continuous time to make comments at the beginning of each 15 – minute segment of the discussion. These comments should be followed by a period of public discussion,” the commission said. In a statement. “Two campaigns this week reaffirmed their agreement to a two-minute uninterrupted term.”
The statement went on to say: “In order to enforce this agreed rule, the Commission today announced that the only candidate who can open the microphone within these two minutes is the candidate on the ground as per the rules.
A source close to the commission told CNN that the decision to mute the microphones was unanimous by its members, emphasizing that “this is not a change to the rules, but an act to encourage compliance with the rules agreed upon by both campaigns.”
“The change in regulations will require long-term and ultimately, in our view, non-functioning negotiations between the two campaigns,” the source said.
However, the change was quickly rebuked by Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtag, who, without evidence, accused the commission of “trying to benefit their favorite candidate”.
However, regardless of the change, Murtagh said in a statement that he was “still committed to discussing Joe Biden”.
The commission canceled the second presidential debate after Trump refused to participate in the virtual contest, a change that was due to his positive coronavirus diagnosis.
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