The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said Wednesday that it plans to make changes to the rules for the next two debates between President Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden because of the chaos that characterized the first debate Tuesday night.
“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 in a statement. “The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”
“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,” CPD continued, referring to debate moderator Wallace.
No specific rule changes were given by the Commission.
“Will you shut up, man?”
The debate was characterized by interruptions from both sides despite Wallace’s attempts to keep on track. Wallace asked Trump repeatedly not to interrupt, and Biden at one point said to Trump, “Will you shut up, man?”
Many media figures criticized the debate as messy and chaotic. Jake Tapper of CNN called it “a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck,” adding, “That was the worst debate I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace and primarily it was because of President Trump, who spent the entire time interrupting, not adhering to the rules he agreed to.”
Of course, Tapper thought was all Trump’s fault. Never mind that he was debating both Biden and Wallace, a fact he acknowledged after a back and forth with Wallace over health care.
“I guess I’m debating you, not him,” Trump finally said. “But that’s OK, no surprise.”
Candidates didn’t follow rules
The rules agreed to beforehand gave each candidate two minutes to answer each question, but they didn’t stick to those guidelines.
Biden said Wednesday that he hoped future debates “can control the ability of us to answer the question without interruption.”
After some on the left suggested Biden back out of the remaining debates because of the chaos, Biden said he would not do so and would continue to participate.
New York Times and Washington Post polls showed that viewers thought Biden won the debate, but they sampled Democrats heavily. A Telemundo Twitter poll gave Trump the debate win by a margin of 2-to-1, but wasn’t a scientifically conducted poll.
The Post acknowledged that other surveys did not show that many voters changed their minds after viewing the debate.