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Mics to be cut off during Thursday's presidential debate

Last Updated Oct 20, 2020 at 6:28 am EDT

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U.S President Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden will have their microphones muted for portions of Thursday’s presidential debate.

Both candidates will be granted two minutes to give uninterrupted remarks at the beginning of each debate segment. The 90-minute debate has been divided into six 15-minute segments.

While each candidate delivers their opening two-minute answer to each topic, the others mic will be cut off to avoid interruption.

RELATED: Trump evasive, Biden rambling in dueling town halls

This will be followed by an open discussion that won’t feature any muted microphones.

The nonpartisan Commision on Presidential Debates announced the new changes on Monday, three days before the second and final debate later this week. The decisions comes after a chaotic first debate that received significant criticism for the amount of interruptions.

Any interruptions during the open discussion format will be counted toward that candidates time.

RELATED: FACT CHECK: Claims from Trump and Biden’s first debate

The commission has faced pressure from the Trump campaign to avoid changing the rules, while Biden’s team was hoping for a more ordered debate. In a statement, the commission said it “had determined that it is appropriate to adopt measures intended to promote adherence to agreed upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules.”

The second debate starts 9 p.m. on Thursday. The candidates are expected to be asked about the following topics:

  • COVID-19
  • American families
  • Race in America
  • Climate change
  • National security
  • Leadership


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