Microphones to be muted for final US presidential debate - to stop interruptions

20 October 2020, 06:10

The final debate takes place on Thursday
The final debate takes place on Thursday. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Microphones are going to be muted in the final US presidential debate on Thursday to stop Donald Trump and Joe Biden speaking over each other.

Organisers say it's to make sure they both get two minutes to answer each question uninterrupted.

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced last night that Mr Trump and Mr Biden will each have his microphone cut off in Thursday's debate while his rival delivers his opening two-minute answer to each of the six debate topics.

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The rule changes come three weeks after a chaotic opening face-off between the two presidential contenders that featured frequent interruptions - most often by Mr Trump.

The open discussion portion of the debate will not feature a mute button, but interruptions by either candidate will count toward their time.

The commission has faced pressure from Mr Trump's campaign to avoid changing the rules, while Mr Biden's team was hoping for a more ordered debate.

In a statement, the commission said it "had determined that it is appropriate to adopt measures intended to promote adherence to agreed upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules."