Debate Commisssion Says It Will Mute Mics At Beginning of Each Segment

The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced several rule changes ahead of the third and final presidential debate Thursday night in Nashville.

Under the new rules, which were made to stop President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden from interrupting each other and the moderators, each candidate will have two minutes of uninterrupted time to speak at the beginning of each segment.

“The only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules,” the commission announced, according to NPR.

After both candidates have given their opening statements on the segment, both microphones will go live. Debate moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News will not have the ability to cut the mics but will be allowed to return any time taken up by interruptions to the other candidate.

The first presidential debate quickly got out of hand. Both candidates constantly cut each other off, Biden called Trump a clown, while Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and spouted wild conspiracy theories at Biden.

The U.S. and international news media largely blasted the participants and moderator Chris Wallace for the debate getting out of hand, noting a significant number of moments for both candidates that were unbecoming of politicians.

The second debate was cancelled after Trump contracted the coronavirus and refused to participate in a virtual debate. Both candidates held town halls in place of a debate.

According to the debate commission, both candidates agreed to the format for the debate. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told USA Today “President 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.”

Biden supported the changes calling them a “good idea.”

“I think there should be more limitations on us not interrupting each other,” the former vice president said in an interview Tuesday with WISN-TV, an ABC affiliate in Milwaukee.