Donald Trump And Joe Biden’s Microphones Will Be Muted In Their Final Debate
Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s microphones will be muted for parts of their final debate on Thursday, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday night.
According to Politico, the decision was made in response to the constant interruptions that took place in the chaotic first presidential debate on September 29. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News had to repeatedly intervene to keep Trump from speaking during Biden’s remarks.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump interrupted the former vice president 71 times and is currently being coached to prevent more interjections in the final debate. Biden cut him off 22 times, and at one point, told his opponent to “shut up.”
Each candidate will now be given an uninterrupted two minutes to speak at the beginning of each 15-minute segment of the debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Both candidates’ mics will then be turned on to enable “a period of open discussion” for the rest of the segment, the commission said in a statement.
The commission said both campaigns “this week again reaffirmed their agreement to the two-minute, uninterrupted rule,” stating that the measures weren’t a change of the rules, but were intended to make sure the existing rules were enforced.
Trump’s team objected to any change to the rules. In a letter earlier on Monday, campaign manager Bill Stepien stated it was “completely unacceptable” for an “unnamed person” to be granted the ability to cut off the candidates’ microphones.
The president has repeatedly accused debate organizers of bias. On Saturday he attacked NBC’s Kristen Welker, who will be moderating on Thursday, calling her “terrible & unfair” in a tweet. Trump shared a New York Post article claiming to expose ties between Welker and the Democratic Party, which included her parents’ donations to Democratic candidates and her previous registration with the party.
An NBC spokesperson said Welker was no longer affiliated with any party and mentioned that Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller had previously called Welker “very fair” and “a very good choice” to moderate the debate.
The Trump campaign’s statement also protested the planned debate topics of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, race and national security. Avoiding questions about foreign policy, they claimed, would protect Biden from accusations against his record.
Stepien did confirm, however, that Trump was prepared to take part in the debate “regardless of last-minute rule changes.”
Trump also confirmed he would participate in the debate while speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday night.
“I’ll participate, I just think it is very unfair. I will participate, but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it is very unfair that again we have an anchor who is totally biased,” the president said.
The third presidential debate will take place on Thursday, October 22.