The Commission on Presidential Debates in the United States said Wednesday it would be making changes to the format of the remaining presidential debates after the first debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump devolved into a chaotic disaster the night before.
“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,” a statement from the CPD reads.
The CPD did not specify what changes were being considered or would be adopted, but said it would be “carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”
During the contentious 90-minute debate, Trump frequently interrupted and heckled Biden, ignoring repeated pleas from the debate moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, for Trump to stick to his allotted time. The debate was marked by frequent incoherent cross talk, and at one point, an exasperated Biden told the President, “Will you shut up, man?”
The CPD said it was “grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate,” and said that it “intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.”
Biden said Wednesday he hopes the CPD will find a way to control the amount of interruptions at future debates, and said the way Trump conducted himself at the debate was a “national embarrassment.”
“I just hope there’s a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the questions without interruptions,” Biden told CNN’s Arlette Saenz.
“I’m not going to speculate on what happens in the second or third debate — my hope is that they’re able to literally — say the question gets asked of Trump, he has a microphone, he has two minutes, no one else has the microphone, and then I don’t know what the rules are going to be. That seems to me to make some sense.”
Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, told reporters Tuesday night that Biden plans to participate in the remaining presidential debates. The next time the nominees are scheduled to face off is on October 15 in Miami.
Steve Scully of C-SPAN Networks will moderate, and the debate will take the form of a town hall where the questions will be posed by citizens from the South Florida area.