Commission of Presidential Debates Releases Statement

Cameron Arcand, Viewpoint Editor

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) released a statement following criticism regarding debate etiquette after the first presidential debate at the end of September. The statement acknowledged the issue of candidates frequently interrupting each other and their difficulty staying on topic.

“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 will be carefully considering changes that it will adopt and announce those measures shortly,” CPD said on Sept. 30.

The change would possibly allow the production team to cut a candidate’s microphone if he/she is interrupting the other nominee, according to CBS.

Many viewers are critical of the quality and fairness of the debate. Some accused the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, of being biased towards Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“[Trump] had to debate not just Joe Biden, but you as well,” President Donald Trump’s surrogate Steve Cortes told Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
It is unclear what the exact changes will look like, but they will be observed at the second presidential debate on Oct. 22 in Nashville, following the cancelation of the original debate that was set for Oct. 15. On a different note, the CPD wanted to make the debate virtual following Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, but Trump and his team refused. New health and safety precautions were not originally part of the CPD’s new guidelines.

As an alternative to a debate, Biden will be participating in a Pennsylvania town hall with ABC News on Oct. 15, which will be hosted by anchor George Stephanopolus. Trump is also planning on taking part in a separate town hall event or rally.

Republicans and Democrats alike are hoping for a better performance at the next debate.
“[Biden will] be focused on answering questions from the voters there, under whatever set of rules the Commission develops to try to contain Donald Trump’s behavior… he has offered no answers in this campaign,” Biden campaign manager Kate Beddingfield said in a statement.