Presidential Debate Commission May Cut Candidates’ Mics in Future Debates

Tuesday’s Trump-Biden debate was marred by frequent crosstalk and interruptions

Donald Trump And Joe Biden Participate In First Presidential Debate
Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images

One of the rule changes the Commission on Presidential Debates is considering for upcoming debates is the ability to seize control of candidates’ microphones to reduce crosstalk and interruptions, according to reports.

The group, which oversees the three presidential debates ahead of the general election as well as next week’s vice presidential debate, released a statement earlier Wednesday promising format changes for the upcoming debates between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

According to CBS News, one of the changes under consideration is “controlling the two candidates’ microphones and their ability to interrupt one another and the moderator.” The changes will be reviewed over the next two days and “will not be subject to negotiation” from the two campaigns.

“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 CPD’s Wednesday statement said. “The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”

The next debate, between vice presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Mike Pence, is scheduled for next Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Tuesday’s debate, moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, was marred by frequent interruptions from Trump and bickering between the two candidates as Wallace at times struggled to maintain order. In its statement, the CPD expressed gratitude toward Wallace for moderating the first debate and promised “additional tools to maintain order.”

Earlier in the day, Biden expressed hope for “a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the question without interruption,” according to NBC News.

“Well, you know, [Trump] not only attacked me constantly and my family, but he attacked the moderator,” Biden said.

In its own statement, the Trump campaign accused CPD of “moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.”


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