Thursday’s debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will feature a mute button to allow each candidate to speak without interruption, organizers said on Monday, in a bid to avoid the disruption that marred the first clash.
The Presidential Debates Commission said each candidate’s microphone would be silenced to allow the other to make two minutes of opening remarks at the start of each 15-minute segment of the debate. Both microphones will be activated to allow back-and-forth after this time.
The news came the day the number of Americans voting early before election day on Nov. 3 crossed the 30 million mark and as Trump attempts to reframe a contest in which national and state opinion polls show. lagging behind.
Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden during a chaotic and moody debate on September 29, and Biden responded with insults.
Trump has withdrawn from a second debate scheduled for last Thursday over a disagreement over the virtual format following his COVID-19 infection. At that time, he voiced his concerns about his microphone turning off.
“You sit behind a computer and have a debate – it’s ridiculous, then they cut you off when they want to,” Trump said in an Oct. 8 interview on Fox Business.
On Monday, Trump’s campaign said it was unhappy with the set of topics announced for Thursday’s debate, arguing it should focus more on foreign policy and complaining that the non-partisan group was leaning towards Biden .
“The Commission’s pro-Biden antics turned the entire debate season into a fiasco,” campaign manager Bill Stepien wrote in a two-page letter.
Biden’s campaign said both sides had previously agreed to let the moderators choose the topics. He said Trump wanted to avoid discussing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which polls show is the main issue for voters.
“As usual, the president is more concerned with the rules of a debate than he is getting a nation in crisis the help it needs,” said Biden spokesman TJ Ducklo.
Neither campaign immediately responded to a request for comment on the latest developments.
(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)