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article imageTrump not happy with presidential debate rule on muting mics

By Karen Graham     Oct 20, 2020 in Politics
After the Committee on Presidential Debates (CPD) issued a muted microphone rule for the final Trump-Biden debate on Thursday, President Donald Trump not only attacked the rule but the moderator, saying: "I think this whole thing is crazy."
Voters who watched the first presidential debate on September 29 will remember it as bad-tempered as had been feared, with Trump leading the way in yelling over his challenger and the Fox News moderator Chris Wallace alike.
"This will go down as one of the worst debates in history," Aaron Kall, a presidential debate specialist at the University of Michigan, told AFP when the chaotic shouting match was finally over.
The CPD said in a statement on Monday that President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will have two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of each 15-minute segment at the final debate. To enforce this rule, the candidate who does not have the floor will have his microphone muted, reports The Guardian.
The commission added to the statement, saying: "We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today. One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”
On Monday, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien called it a "completely unacceptable" possibility that an "unnamed person" could have the power to cut the microphones. Stepien also objected to the topics chosen for the Thursday night debate, saying the topics strayed from the usual devotion of the final debate to foreign policy.
CBS News is reporting that the CPD responded by saying the listed topics for Thursday's debate were chosen by moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News and include "Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change and National Security Leadership."
While Trump has finally agreed to the new rule on muted microphones, it has not stopped him from speaking disparagingly about the commission, the rule, and about Welker, who he called a "radical Democrat" at a campaign rally in Arizona on Monday. "She's been screaming questions at me for a long time, and she's no good,"
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One on his way back to Washington from Arizona, Trump said he would debate Biden on Thursday. "I'll participate. I just think it's very unfair," the president complained. "I will participate but it's very unfair that they changed the topics and it's very unfair that again, we have an anchor who's totally biased."
More about debate commission, 'TrumpBiden, microphones muted, interuptions, Trump attack
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