Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will have their microphones muted during portions of the second and final presidential debate on Thursday night, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Monday in a decision that will likely anger the President.
The decision came after the commission met Monday afternoon to discuss potential rule changes to the debate format. They decided that the changes were needed because of how the first debate between Biden and Trump devolved into chaos, with the President frequently interrupting the former vice president.
A source close to the commission told CNN the decision on muting the microphones was unanimous by its members and stressed that “this is not a change to rules but rather a move to promote adherence to rules that have been agreed to by both campaigns.”
The Associated Press reports:
President Donald Trump plans to attend Thursday’s debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden despite rule changes — opposed by his campaign — that are meant to foster more ordered discussions.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says 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 favored candidate.”
Microphones Will Be Automatically Muted During The Final Presidential Debate After Trump Caused Chaos At The Last One https://t.co/cKUKVZJiLi
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) October 20, 2020
Each candidate will be allotted two minutes to initially answer the moderator’s questions. But the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would turn off each candidate’s audio feed while his rival had the floor. https://t.co/MCpeDgf3ws
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 20, 2020