Presidential Debate Organizers Considering Format Changes After Tuesday’s Event

September 30, 2020 Updated: September 30, 2020

Following the debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would implement “additional structure” to future debates.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. 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 group said.

Those sponsors will now “be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” the commission said, without elaborating.  “The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.”

The debate was tense at times as both Trump and Biden interrupted one another, with Wallace unable to get a word in edgewise. At points, Wallace and Trump sparred over the subject of the questions.

It led Trump to tell the Fox News host: “First of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him. But that’s okay. I’m not surprised.”

“Chris had a tough night,” Trump later wrote. “Two on one was not surprising, but fun. Many important points made, like throwing Bernie, AOC PLUS 3, and the rest, to the wolves! Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe. Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!”

The CPD works with both candidates before the debates to come up with a set of rules.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday after the commission’s statement was published, “Try getting a new Anchor and a smarter Democrat candidate!”

The debate led some left-leaning pundits and Biden surrogates to speculate on whether the former vice president should boycott the next two debates set in October. A campaign spokesperson for Biden said he would attend them.

Biden told reporters in Ohio on Wednesday that “I just hope there’s a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the question without interruption.”

“I’m not going to speculate on what happens in the second or third debate,” he said.

Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s choice for vice president, will meet next Wednesday for their only debate of the election cycle.

The next Trump-Biden debate is slated for Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, and the second one is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.