As Americans prepare for the upcoming presidential debate to be held in Nashville, TN on Thursday, the candidates are now preparing to take on the national issues in a new way.
Contrary to the well-established history of allowing candidates to duke it out on the platform for all to see, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Monday that they would be muting mics of one candidate while the other was answering a question.
This move comes after what many considered to be blatant bias on the part of the last debate’s moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who appeared to debate the president for Democrat candidate Joe Biden.
CNN reported on the upcoming muted debate saying that at the start of the six debate segments, each candidate will be given two minutes to answer the question posed to him. During that time the other candidate’s microphone will be muted.
Questions from conservatives have been raised, frustrated with what they considered to be another way of propping up a feeble and possibly mentally declining Democrat candidate who “can’t stand the heat” as it were.
However, liberals seem delighted with the announcement, as was evidenced by a source close to the debate commission telling CNN that the decision was “not a change to rules but rather a move to promote adherence to rules that have been agreed to by both campaigns.”
“A change to the rules would have required protracted and ultimately, in our view, unworkable negotiations between the two campaigns,” the source said.
Trump’s campaign spoke out against any changes to the rules in a statement cited by CNN saying that the commission “shouldn’t be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.”
Biden, however, (or at least his campaign) is thoroughly on board with the upcoming format change, saying they believed the way Trump conducted himself at the first debate was a “national embarrassment.”
“I just hope there’s a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the questions without interruptions,” Biden said the day after the first debate.
The commission released a statement justifying their actions on Monday, saying that, “We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today,” the statement read.
“One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”
The statement went on to say that: “The Commission is announcing today that in order to enforce this agreed upon rule, the only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules. For the balance of each segment, which by design is intended to be dedicated to open discussion, both candidates’ microphones will be open.”
Both microphones will reportedly be unmuted after each candidate delivers their two-minute answer.
“During the times dedicated for open discussion, it is the hope of the Commission that the candidates will be respectful of each other’s time, which will advance civil discourse for the benefit of the viewing public,” the statement read. “As in the past, the moderator will apportion roughly equal amounts of time between the two speakers over the course of the 90 minutes. Time taken up during any interruptions will be returned to the other candidate.”
In a letter to the commission Monday, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien reminded Americans of why this change could be bad for voters:
“It is completely unacceptable for anyone to wield such power, and a decision to proceed with that change amounts to turning further editorial control of the debate over to the Commission which has already demonstrated its partiality to Biden.”