WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will cut off microphones during Thursday’s debate, while their rival will give an opening two-minute response to each debate topic.
The 90-minute debate is divided into six 15-minute sections, with each candidate being given two minutes to give unrestricted feedback before moving on to an open discussion. The open discussion section of the debate will not have a disable button, but the candidate’s interruptions will count their time in the second and final debate on Thursday.
The Impartial Commission for Presidential Debates announced the rule changes on Monday, three weeks after a confusing opening face-off between two presidential rivals, with frequent interruptions – mostly by Trump.
The commission faced pressure from the Trump campaign to avoid changing the rules, while Biden’s team still expects a ordered debate. In a statement, the commission said it had “determined that it was appropriate to take action aimed at encouraging compliance with the agreed rules and that it was inappropriate to make changes to those rules.”
Trump plans to attend Thursday’s debate despite the rule changes.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stephen said Trump was “determined to discuss Joe Biden, regardless of last-minute rule changes to the biased commission in a recent attempt to favor the candidate they wanted.”