Next Trump-Biden debate will have new rules to aid ‘orderly discussion’

US President Donald J. Trump (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (R) participate with Moderator Chris Wallace (C) in the first 2020 presidential election debate at Samson Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 29 September 2020. The first presidential debate is co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic. EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

ALLIANCE, Ohio, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The group that manages U.S. presidential election debates said on Wednesday it will take steps to bring order to the final two contests between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, following widespread criticism.

By Jarrett Renshaw and Trevor Hunnicutt

The 90-minute debate on Tuesday night was chaotic, marred by the Republican president’s constant interjections and interruptions of both his Democratic rival and the host, as well as Biden’s angry rejoinders.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonpartisan group that has organized the events since 1988, said it would make unspecified changes to the format to prevent chaos.

“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 group said in a statement, adding that it is “carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”

Biden said in a campaign stop on Wednesday that he hoped organizers of future debates would be able to turn off the microphone of the candidate who is not speaking.

“It was a national embarrassment,” Biden said of the debate and Trump’s performance. “I am not going to speculate what happens at the second or third debate.”

Trump, meanwhile, was critical of the debate’s moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

“Chris had a tough night,” Trump posted Wednesday morning on Twitter, calling the debate a “two on one” fight.

The debate commission defended Wallace, thanking him “for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate” and promising “additional tools to maintain order.”

The candidates for vice president will debate next Wednesday, followed by two more presidential debates between Trump and Biden later in October. (Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York and Jarrett Renshaw in Alliance, Ohio; editing by Scott Malone, Diane Craft and Cynthia Osterman)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • M D Fraser says:

    There’s little to choose between these two. Like two dogs barking through a fence at each other. Anyway, we all know it’s not the President who runs the country, it’s the ones pulling the hidden strings. Same in most countries.
    Look what Obama promised and compare against what he actually achieved/promised. Will be more of the same next time, and the next…

    • Christopher Bedford says:

      *Hidden* strings? That’s a laugh. In US politics, all the policy is out in the open. The decisions are made in the two Houses of Congress. No strings. Just getting vetoed by vested interests.

  • Colleen Dardagan says:

    There is a difference between a civilised debate and a street fight – I wonder if Trump knows that. As in 2016 we seen two candidates who are not fit for office in the US election.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Elections24 Newsletter Banner

On May 29 2024, South Africans will make their mark in another way.

Get your exclusive, in-depth Election 2024 newsletter curated by Ferial Haffajee delivered straight to your inbox.