The Commission on Presidential Debates announced changes late Monday to the rules of Thursday’s final presidential debate.
Per the new rules, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will each be allowed two minutes of uninterrupted time to speak at the beginning of every 15-minute segment of the debate, and the uninterrupted time will be ensured by muting the non-speaking candidate’s microphone, NPR reported.
“The only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules,” the commission stated.
Both candidates' microphones will then be open during the discussion periods that follow the initial two-minute answer periods, NPR reported.
A source close to the commission told CNN that the unanimous decision on muting the microphones “is not a change to rules but rather a move to promote adherence to rules that have been agreed to by both campaigns.”
In its statement, the commission acknowledged “neither campaign may be totally satisfied” with the new measures, but balance is the ultimate goal.
“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 commission stated.
Cox Media Group