The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said Tuesday night’s presidential debate in Ohio was out of hand and the organization may allow moderators to cut the mics of candidates who interrupt or speak over their allotted time, according to CBS News.
Viewers and media members described the Tuesday debate in Cleveland, Ohio as a “sh*t show,” with Fox News Host Chris Wallace moderating and repeatedly struggling to control the candidates, particularly Trump.
Trump and Biden talked over one another for minutes on end, with Trump continuously refusing to respect his opponent’s dedicated time. The structure of the debate was supposed to allow for each candidate to speak for two minutes before moving to a free discussion phase for each topic.
EXCLUSIVE: @CBSNews has learned the Commission on Presidential Debates plans to issue strict new rules in the coming days that include cutting off a candidate’s microphone if they violate the rules, per an informed source.
More tonight on the @CBSEveningNews
— Norah O’Donnell ???????? (@NorahODonnell) September 30, 2020
The Commission on Presidential Debates has issued a statement essentially acknowledging that last night’s event was off the rails and changes are needed in the next two. pic.twitter.com/RGXxn71uo9
— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) September 30, 2020
“The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. 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 said in a statement. “The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”
“The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates,” it added. (RELATED: CIVIL WAR AT FOX NEWS? Ingraham, Gutfeld, Others Attack Chris Wallace After Debate)
Trump campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh said the president opposes the changes.
“They’re only doing this because their guy got pummeled last night,” Murtaugh said in a statement. “President Trump was the dominant force and now Joe Biden is trying to work the refs. They shouldn’t be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.”
Wallace attempted to bring the same assertive moderation style he had in the 2016 debates, but Biden and particularly Trump weren’t having it, repeatedly speaking over one another and ignoring Wallace’s attempts to bring the debate under control.
Trump and Biden both had note-worthy moments Tuesday, with Trump urging the far-right “Proud Boys” group to “Stay back and stand by” in response to violent antifa and Black Lives Matter protests.
Biden also refused to answer questions about whether he planned to pack the Supreme Court with new justices, a plan his running mate Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris has endorsed in the past.