Thursday, December 2, 2021

Changes urged to avoid another ‘train wreck’ presidential debate

The upcoming debates need to be conducted in a more 'presidential' manner, say commentators.

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The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced Wednesday that it is considering changes for the remaining debates after President Donald Trump repeatedly flouted the rules, resulting in a chaotic debate.

“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,” the CPD said in a statement. “The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”

Tuesday’s debate was described by one commentator as “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck”.

Moments before the CPD released its statement, Democratic nominee Joe Biden told reporters in Ohio that he hoped the future debates would be organised differently.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh disagreed, saying in a statement, “The commission shouldn’t be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

Tuesday’s debate moderator, Chris Wallace, was criticised by some for failing to rein in the mayhem, but the commission acknowledged he had been given a very difficult task.

“I’m just sad with the way last night turned out,” Wallace told the New York Times on Wednesday. “I never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did.”

It is unclear exactly what changes the CPD will propose, but a source close to the commission said it was considering the ability to cut off a candidate’s microphone when the rules are violated.

Many doubt that this would stop Trump’s interruptions.

The president tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that future debates should try “getting a new anchor and a smarter Democrat candidate!”

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