The stage is set for a final face-off between the Republican and the Democratic presidential candidates before the Election Day. The incumbent Trump will debate his Democratic rival and former Vice President, Joseph Biden on October 22. The real flip is the set of new rules that the non-partisan organising commission has announced three days before the debate.
The new rules are devised to avoid the chaos and disorder that the United States has seen on the occasion of the first presidential debate. The campaigns of both candidates have confirmed to attend the debate despite their initial reservations. The second debate stood cancelled because Trump refused to the virtual format prescribed by the organising body because of his coronavirus diagnosis.
Although the first debate was cancelled, Trump and Biden participated in separate town hall events conducted by NBC and ABC respectively. The timing of the events coincided on the same date designated for the second debate. It remains to be seen whether the new set of rules will help in an orderly third debate. Americans hope so.
New rules for the third debate
Like its previous episodes, the third debate will be held for 90 minutes, moderated by a third-party moderator.
The debate will be divided into six segments. Each segment will start with a question by the moderator. The parties shall be allowed to answer these questions in their two-minute opening remarks. The opposition shall not be allowed to interrupt in between the remark. If he does so, the speaker can temporarily mute his microphone on his command.
These rules are drawn in because Donald Trump did not allow his rival and the moderator to speak for a large part of the first presidential debate. He used previous protocols to avoid discussions on critical topics. The first presidential debate of 2020 is considered as one of the most disorderly debates in the history of modern America.
The option of muting the opponent will, however, be not available during open discussions. Both participants will have to grab their chances to speak their part. The moderator shall play a key role in this third debate.
Trump campaign’s reservations
Trump campaign is not satisfied with the flip of rules. It has raised questions over the neutrality of the none partisan Presidential debate commission. It has, however, committed that President will take part in the debate.
Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien said that Trump is committed to debate Biden despite last-minute rule changes. He accused that the commission is taking favour of Democrats. The new rules will help them.
Republican camp did not have any choice. Their finances are dwindling in comparison to Biden’s campaign. They can not afford to miss any chances in which Trump could showdown Biden and catch him up in the race he is leading.
Clutter over the topics
Trump campaign is also dissatisfied with the selection of topics. Trump said he is unhappy that they changed the topic at the last moment. He argued that they should have discussed more on foreign policy.
The debate is divided into six segments- fighting COVID-19, American families, climate change, national security and leadership. Trump is also not content with the moderator, Kristen Welker. He said the anchor is once again a radical Democrat, which is not fair.
What the presidential debate commission has to say
The presidential election debate commission is a non-partisan body that organizes presidential election debates.
The commission said that it had discussions with both campaigns and they are not content on some aspect of the debate or the other. One party says that the commission is far stricter, the other says it could have done more. The commission said that it is confident to strike a right balance between Republicans and Democrats.
The commission also said that the new rules and protocols are in line with the public interest. It emphasised that they are the ultimate audience of the debate and they will benefit from it.