International Politics

Presidential debate: Rules to change after Trump-Biden spat

The commission that oversees US presidential debates says it will change the format to ensure the remaining two encounters between Donald Trump and Joe Biden are more orderly.

One new measure could be to cut the microphones if the candidates try to interrupt each other, US media report.

The announcement follows Tuesday’s ill-tempered debate that descended into squabbling, bickering and insults.

President Trump’s team has already criticised the commission’s plans.

The tone and tactics of the first presidential debate were criticised across the US and around the world.

The fallout, however, has also been dominated by Mr Trump’s refusal in the debate to explicitly condemn a far-right group called the Proud Boys.

What are the plans for the next debates?

In Tuesday’s debate, the candidates were given two minutes to answer moderator questions, before being allowed to address each other’s response.

However, President Trump constantly interrupted Democratic candidate Joe Biden leading to a series of chaotic exchanges in which both men talked over each other.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) – a nonpartisan body that has organised presidential debates since 1988 – said it would soon announce new measures to help moderators “maintain order” in the remaining two debates.

It said the first debate had “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues”.

CBS News, citing an informed source, said the commission would spend the next 48 hours drawing up new guidelines and rules for the second debate on 15 October in Miami, Florida.

Controlling the candidates’ microphones is at the top of the list, CBS said, in order to prevent them interrupting the moderator or each other.

Both campaign teams will be informed of the rules but they will not be subject to negotiation, the source added.

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