‘Additional Structure’ to Be Added to Future Debates

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace (C) at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first …
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The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced on Wednesday that it will incorporate “additional structure” to future debates to “ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues” following Tuesday evening’s contentious debate between not just Joe Biden and President Trump, but moderator Chris Wallace, who had several heated moments with the president.

“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,” CPD said in a statement, adding that the commission is “carefully considering” the changes and that those will be announced “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,” CPD added:

The announcement follows Tuesday’s first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, which was largely dominated by crosstalk and interruptions.

“Stop. Gentlemen, I hate to raise my voice, but I– why should I be different than the two of you?” Wallace said at one point during the debate.

He continued:

We have six segments. We have ended that segment. We’re going to go to the next segment. In that segment, you each are going to have two uninterrupted moments. In those two interrupted minutes, Mr. President, you can say anything you want. I’m going to ask a question about race, but if you want to answer about something else, go ahead. But I think that the country would be better served, if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions. I’m appealing to you, sir, to do that.

“Well, and him too,” the president said, referencing Biden.

Remarkably, Wallace ignored the president’s suggestion to apply the same standards to his opponent.

“Well, frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting than he has,” Wallace responded, continuing to argue with Trump.

“Well, that’s all right, but he does plenty,” Trump said.

“Well, sir, less than,” Wallace began to interject before Trump repeated that Biden interrupts “plenty.”

“No, less than you have,” Wallace contended. “Let’s please continue on.”

The next presidential debate will take the form of a town hall meeting and take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, October 15. Steve Scully, senior executive producer and political editor for C-SPAN networks, will moderate the event.


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