After Tuesday’s presidential debate, which will be remembered as a night of chaos, Democrats are seeking potential rule changes, while the media floated the possibility of Joe Biden skipping the next two debates.
What are the details?
Despite Biden’s campaign pledging the former vice president would participate in each of the three scheduled debates, Democrats are blaming Trump for Tuesday’s chaos — and are seeking potential rule changes to future debates, Politico reported.
Simon Rosenberg, a former senior adviser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Politico the Commission on Presidential Debates needs to rein in the president prior to the next debates.
“Of course, Biden and Harris should keep debating. But they should work to make sure Trump can’t repeat his performance tonight,” Rosenberg said. “Moderators should have the ability to cut off his mic and split screens should be limited. Let them talk to the American people without the other facial expressions and interruptions registering.”
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), a top Biden surrogate, similarly blamed Trump for the debate chaos.
“It was very hard to follow what was being said, and President Trump showed not just disrespect to the moderator, but to the American people who tuned in trying to figure out what his plans are,” Coons told Politico. “The point of the debate is for the American people to make a decision, informed by hearing from the two candidates on what’s your record, what are your values? Joe Biden came prepared to respect the American people. Donald Trump did not.”
What did the media say?
In post-debate coverage on CNN, network anchor Jake Tapper asked Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, “Do you think Joe Biden should participate in a second or third debate?”
MSNBC host Brian Williams similarly asked on MSNBC, “Should the next two debates go on as scheduled?”
CNN host Wolf Blitzer commented that he “wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last presidential debate.”
Media urge Biden: Just say no to more debates! pic.twitter.com/EUgtwbYidC
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 30, 2020
When are the next debates?
The second presidential debate is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Oct. 15; it will be moderated by C-SPAN’s Steve Scully. The final presidential debate is slated for Thursday, Oct. 22, and it will be moderated by MSNBC’s Kristen Welker.
Biden’s campaign said that Biden will, in fact, participate in both debates, according to Politico.
However, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said both campaigns were discussing potential format changes with the debate commission.
There is also a vice presidential debate scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 7, which will be moderated by USA Today’s Susan Page.
Author: Chris Enloe