US Presidential Debate Set For Thursday With New Rules in Place
Oct 21 2020
Ahead of the voting day on November 3, US President Donald Trump and his rival Democratic candidate Joe Biden will face each other one last time on Friday evening IST for the final debate at Nashville. The new rule should allow each candidate to complete their two-minute opening answers uninterrupted by temporarily muting their opponent's microphone.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement that the President would be participating in the debate "regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate".
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to speak during a campaign event at Riverside High School in Durham, N.C., October 18, 2020.
Biden's campaign said Trump was seeking to avoid discussing how his administration has handled the coronaviruspandemic, and that both sides had agreed to let moderators choose the topics for the debates.
The debate commission had pledged to curtail the chaos that ensued at last month's first debate in Cleveland when Trump was criticized for frequently interrupting Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.
Both microphones will be turned on to allow a back and forth after that time. But Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and when the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates chose to have the candidates participate remotely, the president withdrew.
Earlier on Monday, Trump's campaign said it was unhappy with the designated topics for Thursday's debate, arguing that it should focus more on foreign policy - the nominal focus of what was supposed to be the third debate.
"I will participate", Trump told reporters upon returning to the White House from his campaign rally in Arizona.
The debate will be moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News and is divided into six segments of 15 minutes apiece. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released last week showed Trump and Biden effectively tied in the state, which is seen as a must-win for the president.
"He lied about it right from the beginning", Perez, who is not affiliated with a party, said of Trump. "I don't think this could have happened any place other than America".