The Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit group that produces the presidential debates, announced Wednesday that it would change the formatting for the remaining debates following a disastrous first faceoff between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“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.
The group said it was “carefully considering” changes and would announce those measures “shortly.”
Throughout the 90-minute debate on Tuesday, Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.
Both campaigns had agreed to Tuesday’s format, which was supposed to split up the debate into six 15-minute sections, each dedicated to a specific topic. Each candidate was to have two minutes to address the topic at hand before Wallace would allow “open discussion” for the remaining time.
But Trump refused to follow the rules, even after Wallace repeatedly implored the president to stop speaking over him and Biden. He also reminded the president that his campaign had agreed to the format.
“Will you shut up, man?” an exasperated Biden asked when Trump refused to stop speaking during the former vice president’s allotted response time.
Later on, Trump interrupted Biden’s tribute to his late son, Beau Biden, to attack his other son, Hunter Biden.
“It’s hard to get any word in with this clown ― excuse me, this person,” Biden said at one point.
Viewers, cable news hosts and political commentators were united in their disgust with the chaotic event.
“I have to speak personally here as someone who’s watched presidential debates for 40 years,“ ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos said after the debate. “As somebody who’s moderated presidential debates, as somebody who’s prepared candidates for presidential debates, as someone who’s covered presidential debates — that was the worst presidential debate I’ve ever seen in my life.”
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