Presidential debate commission chairman defends rule to cut mics in next debate

Posted 93 days ago


Republican chairman Frank Fahrenkopf of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) defended the new rule that will cut mics during the debate to minimize interruptions.

“This is not a new rule, the campaigns agreed early on going back to June,” Fahrenkopf told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on "The Brian Kilmeade Show." “Both agreed to live with it. It provides clearly that for the first four minutes of each of the six segments that each candidate gets to speak for two minutes without interruptions.”

“They both violated that rule,” Fahrenkopf continued. He said that the commission didn’t believe it could change any rule without both campaigns agreeing, but noted they’d already agreed not to interrupt for the first four minutes of each segment.

Fahrenkopf said the rest of the debate would be open microphones.

The CPD announced Monday it would mute President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden during the initial two-minute response times allotted to their opponents at the debate Thursday in Nashville.

Also included in the debate will be an open discussion forum that won't include the mute option. Thursday’s debate will consist of six 15-minute segments, totaling 90 minutes in all as in the first debate.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N. Y., suggested a “mute button” would be necessary for another debate to take place. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., however, has argued a mute button would be ... (Read more)