Donald Trump and presidential hopeful Joe Biden are getting ready to go head to head once again in the upcoming presidential debate. But this time, their microphones will be muted when it is not their turn to speak in order to prevent another spectacle like the first debate.
“It is the hope of the Commission that the candidates will be respectful of each other’s time, which will advance civil discourse for the benefit of the viewing public,” the Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement on Monday. The statement continued by explaining that they “considered the opinion of many who expressed concern the debate fell short of expectations, depriving voters of the opportunity to be informed of the candidates’ positions on the issues.”
The final debate, which is scheduled for Thursday at 9 p.m. ET in Nashville, will give each candidate two minutes to speak on each of the six debate topics. After their two minutes are up, their microphones will be muted.
The first debate in September is what prompted the new policy. Trump often aggressively interrupted Biden and even argued with the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who was having a difficult time establishing order. This time around, NBC News’ Kristen Welker will serve as moderator and have full control of the microphones.
The commission recognized that both parties may be upset with the decision. However, they are standing by their decision to mute the microphones.
“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today. One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough,” the commission said in the statement. “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.”
Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien has already criticized the move, accusing the commission of being biased. Despite this, he says that Trump “is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last minute rule changes.”