WASHINGTON – The mics of President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will be cut off at Thursday’s debate as their rival delivers their opening two-minute answer to each of the topics of discussion.
The 90-minute discussion is divided into six 15-minute segments, with each candidate given two minutes to provide uninterrupted notes before initiating an open discussion. The open discussion portion of the discussion will not contain a mute button, but interruptions by any of the candidates will count within their time in the second and final discussion on Thursday.
The nonpartisan Committee for Presidential Debates announced changes to the base on Monday, three weeks after a chaotic inaugural showdown between the two presidential contenders marked by frequent interruptions – mostly by Trump.
The committee faced pressure from the Trump campaign to avoid changing the rules, while the Biden team hoped for an orderly debate. The committee said in a statement that it “decided that it is appropriate to adopt measures aimed at enhancing compliance with the agreed rules and is not appropriate to make changes to those rules.”
Trump plans to attend Thursday’s debate despite the rule changes.
Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stephen, said Trump is “committed to discussing Joe Biden regardless of last-minute rule changes from the biased committee in their last attempt to offer an advantage to their preferred candidate.”