Debate commission planning rule change to allow option to cut candidates' microphones: report

by Peter Heck · Oct 1st, 2020 9:01 am

Last Updated Oct 1st, 2020 at 7:45 pm

The Committee on Presidential Debates is meeting over the course of the next 48 hours to finalize rule changes for the upcoming second presidential debate that reportedly are likely to include a mechanism to cut off the microphone of President Trump and former Vice President Biden if either break the rules.

The commission, tasked with overseeing the three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate, said changes were coming after a chaotic first debate on Tuesday night.

"Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the commission said. "The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly."

It is not clear what other changes may be coming or how any microphone censoring would be done, but a source told CBS News that the new rules will not be subject to negotiation.

The Trump campaign expressed disagreement with the plans. Spokesperson Tim Murtaugh suggested the committee was "moving the goalposts" in an effort to benefit Biden.

"They're only doing this because their guy got pummeled last night," Murtaugh said. "President Trump was the dominant force and now Joe Biden is trying to work the refs."

Kate Bedingfield, speaking on behalf of the Biden campaign, taunted Trump over the development.

"The president will have to choose between responding to voters about questions for which he has offered no answers in this campaign — or repeating last night's unhinged meltdown," she said.

The second presidential debate is scheduled to take place in Miami on October 15.


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