Rules that favor the sane are clearly unpopular with the chief of interruptions and accusations
The final Presidential debate, currently scheduled for Thursday October 22 will have 90 minutes divided into six fifteen-minute segments. Each segment will have 2 minutes of time for each candidate to speak, guaranteed without interruption, before the topic is “discussed” in open debate format.
Trump, whining to reporters last night disagreed with virtually everything about the debate: “I will participate but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it’s very unfair that again we have an anchor who’s totally biased.”
During an hour long interview with “Fox & Friends” he went further:
‘This was supposed to be a foreign policy debate, and new all of a sudden we’re talking about things that are not foreign policy. And, frankly, it was a change that they made that was far bigger than the mute button, I mean, frankly. But they made a change, and it shouldn’t have happened. It shouldn’t have happened”
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Some are already speculating that Trump will scream and yell and wave his arms during the time that his mic is muted. Alternatively, he could choose to cancel, which appears to be unlikely at this late juncture. Apparently, while the last debate was all about talking over, interrupting and generally trying to disrupt the proceedings, this time it will be about complaining outside the actual performance itself. I guess we’ll all have to tune in to see.
“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today. 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 Commission on Presidential Debates
In addition to the 2 minutes of time each is given to speak without interruption there will be an attempt made to calculate the time one candidate loses due to an interruption by the other candidate will be credited back to the candidate that was interrupted.
Since Trump interrupted three times as often as Biden in the first debate; 71 times vs. 22 by the former Vice President, it was always unlikely that these rules would be welcomed by the Trump campaign. The bizarre strategy of “winning by interruption” will have far less potential in the new format.
The groundwork has been laid to choose to blame and mock the commission and the moderator or simply refuse to attend
On Monday a complaint in advance was already sent to the commission by Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager:
“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,” said Stepien.
Additionally, the Trump campaign appears to be unhappy with the topics that were announced by the debate commission and in the same letter quoted above attempted to steer the debate topics away from the Covid-19 pandemic and into “foreign policy” and other issues.
All the grousing could be a set-up for a last minute cancelation by the Trump camp, as has been speculated.
That would likely only benefit Biden, and speed-up the need for Trump to find a country that would host him in exile.
However, as of last night this quote from Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien still stands: Trump “is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate.”
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