Muted Mics For Upcoming POTUS Debate, Commission Rules; Will Trump Still Attend?

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are going to have to watch what they say and their time saying it at the final Presidential debate later this week.

To stop the dumpster fire lit by the constantly interrupting ex-Celebrity Apprentice host at the first meet-up between the candidates back on September 29, the Commission on Presidential Debates revealed today that they are going to turn off one contender’s microphone while the other speaks on Thursday in Nashville … all of which puts Trump’s already argumentative participation at likely risk just two weeks before Election Day.

“Under the agreed upon debate rules, each candidate is to have two minutes of uninterrupted time to make remarks at the beginning of each 15-minute segment of the debate,” the CPS said on Monday evening after a day of meetings on possible rule changes. “These remarks are to be followed by a period of open discussion.”

While the Commission never say poll lagging Trump’s name in their statement, it is pretty clear who they are directing this unprecedented shift at.

“Both campaigns this week again reaffirmed their agreement to the two-minute, uninterrupted rule,” the bi-partisan group added. “The Commission is announcing today that in order to enforce this agreed upon rule, the only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules. For the balance of each segment, which by design is intended to be dedicated to open discussion, both candidates’ microphones will be open.”

“We realize after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today,” the Commission concluded with huge understatement. “One may think they go too far, and one my think they do not go far enough.”

AKA – Welcome to America 2020!

Neither the Trump nor Biden campaign has yet responded to the new state of affairs just three days before the October 22 debate. We will update if and when they do.

Rescheduled as the final debate after the October 15 set second debate fell apart due to Trump’s COVID-19 infection and refusal to do the event virtually, this rule change is just the latest drama today in the debate discourse. As my colleague Ted Johnson wrote earlier Monday: Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, wrote in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates that the focus of the next event should be on foreign policy, not on the list of topics selected by moderator Kristen Welker from NBC.

Calling a losing hand when they see it, Team Trump don’t want to talk about the chosen topics of fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership. Now, they might not want to talk at all and take their red ball home.

The highly anticipated debate is supposed to show live on ABC, CBS, NBC, all the cabler newsers, PBS, C-SPAN and everywhere else.

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