Thursday night’s final presidential debate in Nashville will be very different than last month’s in Cleveland after the media complained loudly about President Donald Trump’s behavior.
This led to the Commission on Presidential Debates to make an unprecedented change to mute the participants’ microphones when they are not speaking.
The debate, which Trump dominated, irked the media, who felt that former Vice President Joe Biden didn’t get an equal opportunity to respond to questions and according to the New York Times was an “unruly spectacle” that derailed the event.
“The incoherence of the first debate — during which Mr. Trump’s relentless interruptions of Mr. Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, derailed the proceedings.”
In an effort to prevent Trump from interrupting Biden, his microphone will be muted during the two-minute answer period and the same will be true for Biden when the president is speaking. Once they are past this period, both candidates will be free to engage each other with their microphones on.
The media and many Democrats have been concerned about the debates — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged Biden to not participate over the fear that Biden wasn’t up for a head-to-head confrontation with Trump, who can speak for hours without losing his train of thought, and would commit a potentially campaign-ending gaffe.