Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s debate came with well over one hundred interruptions from the president. And now we have the next debate coming up on Thursday, so the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the candidates’ microphones would be muted only during two-minute opening remarks at the start of each 15-minute segment of the debate, according to Politico.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Trump campaign is demanding that the Commission on Presidential Debates adjust the topics for the final presidential debate.
“As is the long-standing custom, and as has been promised by the Commission on Presidential Debates, we had expected that foreign policy would be the central focus of the October 22 debate. We urge you to recalibrate the topics and return to subjects which had already been confirmed,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien wrote, calling it a “pro-Biden” antic.
Biden’s campaign responded that there was a prior agreement that the moderator would select the topics, according to The Hill.
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The Republican co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank Fahrenkopf, decided to clear the air.
“We’ve done over 30 of the general election presidential and vice-presidential debates we’ve never had a cycle like this one. First of all, the president this morning and some of his people said that this was supposed to be a foreign policy debate and we somehow changed the rules,” he said on MSNBC. “Not the case, it was never to be a foreign policy focus. I asked them to go back and look at the debate in 2016. Both the debates, Lester Holt did the first one, Chris Wallace did the last one.”
“Now, with regard to the microphones, both parties agreed before the first debate, and also agreed again for the second, that when we start the 6-minute — the 15-minute segments, that the first 4 minutes are divided into 2 minutes for each candidate without interruption. If you watched the first debate, easy to see that those rules were not followed even though they agreed to it,” he continued. “All the commission has done is not create a new rule. We didn’t touch the rules. All we did was put in a situation where if someone is interrupting, they won’t be allowed to interrupt.”
“When, for example, if President Trump is the first one to go forward, he will speak for two minutes without interruption, and Joe Biden’s microphone will be turned off during that period of time. When the president finishes and Joe Biden starts his two minutes, the president’s microphone goes off,” he said. “Once they both have completed their two minutes, then the microphones are on for the rest of the debate for that section. So, the allegations that are there are just false. They’re not true. It’s not the way things happen. And we’re going forward as we said. And the president has agreed to debate. We’re yet to hear definitively from the Biden campaign, but we’re hopefully looking forward to having a good debate, a little more controlled, a little more civility, when we get to Nashville Thursday.”
Republican co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank Fahrenkopf, calls out Trump for lying about the debate rules being changed. pic.twitter.com/23FcbJleOY
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 20, 2020
This president thinks he deserves special treatment while breaking norms.
Featured image via screen capture