United States debate commission adopts new rule to stop interruptions

Joe Biden & Donald Trump's Next Debate Will Feature Muted Mircophones, According to New Commission Rules

The open discussion portion, which counts for the other 11 minutes of each segment, will not feature a mic-muting option, though the commission noted that "time taken up during any interruptions will be returned to the other candidate".

Renewing the Trump campaign's suggestion that the nonpartisan commission is biased in Biden's favor, Stepien said the topic list would "insulate Biden from his own history", referring to unfounded allegations related to the foreign business dealings of the former vice president's son Hunter.

"One [campaign] may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough", the statement said.

On Thursday, October 22, President Trump and Joe Biden will take part in the second and final presidential debate of the 2020 campaign, moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

"It is completely unacceptable for anyone to wield such power, and a decision to proceed with that change amounts to turning further editorial control of the debate over to the Commission", Stepien said.

Afterward, the commission committed to ensuring "a more orderly discussion" for future debates.

Trump pulled out of what was supposed to be the second debate with Biden, scheduled for October 15, after the commission decided it would be conducted virtually because of the president's Covid-19 diagnosis on October 1.

"These people are not good people", he said of the debate commission on Tuesday, in an interview on Fox News, adding there was "nothing fair" about the upcoming event. It said Trump wanted to avoid discussing his management of the coronavirus pandemic. And like the last debate, Trump is reportedly doing very little prep work: According to the Wall Street Journal, as of Wednesday, the president "hadn't attended any prep sessions for Thursday's debate, formally or informally".

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the six topics on Friday: "Fighting COVID-19", "American Families", "Race in America", "Climate Change", "National Security", and "Leadership". Biden's campaign said that both sides previously agreed to let moderators choose the subjects. Each segment begins with a question, to which the candidates may now each respond for two minutes without interruption. A Reuters poll released last week showed Trump and Biden neck-and-neck in the state, a crucial battleground in recent years.

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