Future presidential debates to be more structured, says debate commission

by Jenny Mount · Sep 30th, 2020 4:26 pm

Last Updated Oct 1st, 2020 at 8:04 am

The Commission on Presidential Debates said it is considering changes to the remaining presidential debates, citing the need for "structure" after Tuesday night's debate was chaotically peppered with repeated interruptions.

"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."

Both President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden agreed to the structure of the debate before taking to the stage Tuesday night, but that agreement was quickly ignored.

Tuesday night's debate was supposed to be six segments of 15 minutes each, with each candidate having two minutes to answer a specific question individually. However, both candidates frequently interrupted and spoke over each other.

Earlier today, Biden told reporters that he hoped the commission could figure out how to have the two candidates answer without interruptions.

"I just hope there's a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the question without interruptions. I'm not going to speculate on what happens in the second or third debate," Biden said. "My hope is that they're able to literally say -- the question gets asked to Trump, he has the microphone, he has two minutes to answer the question, no one else has a microphone. And then, I don't know what the rules are going to be, literally. But that's what seemed to me to make some sense. But I'm looking. I'm looking forward to that."

The second presidential debate will be town hall style with voters asking questions. It is set to take place in Miami in two weeks moderated by C-SPAN host Steve Scully.

The third and final debate will be structured like Tuesday night's debate and will be held in Nashville, Tennessee.


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