Republican co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank Fahrenkopf set the record straight on Trump’s lies about the debate rules.
Fahrenkopf said on MSNBC:
We’ve done over 30 of the general election presidential and vice-presidential debates we’ve never had a cycle like this one. First of all, the president this morning and some of his people said that this was supposed to be a foreign policy debate and we somehow changed the rules. Not the case, it was never to be a foreign policy focus. I asked them to go back and look at the debate in 2016. Both the debates, Lester Holt did the first one, Chris Wallace did the last one.
There was no focus on foreign policy for one and domestic on the other, so the debate people at the Trump Organization knew that there was no focus on foreign policy. Now, whether they told the president or not, I can’t say.
Now, with regard to the microphones, both parties agreed before the first debate, and also agreed again for the second, that when we start the 6-minute — the 15-minute segments, that the first 4 minutes are divided into 2 minutes for each candidate without interruption. If you watched the first debate, easy to see that those rules were not followed even though they agreed to it. All the commission has done is not create a new rule. We didn’t touch the rules. All we did was put in a situation where if someone is interrupting, they won’t be allowed to interrupt.
When, for example, if President Trump is the first one to go forward, he will speak for two minutes without interruption and Joe Biden’s microphone will be turned off during that period of time. When the president finishes and Joe Biden starts his two minutes, the president’s microphone goes off. Once they both have completed their two minutes, then the microphones are on for the rest of the debate for that section. So, the allegations that are there are just false. They’re not true. It’s not the way things happen. And we’re going forward as we said. And the president has agreed to debate. We’re yet to hear definitively from the Biden campaign, but we’re hopefully looking forward to having a good debate, a little more controlled, a little more civility, when we get to Nashville Thursday.
Republican co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank Fahrenkopf, calls out Trump for lying about the debate rules being changed. pic.twitter.com/23FcbJleOY
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 20, 2020
Trump is trying to build in an excuse for when he loses the next debate. Trump uses the same pattern every time. Donald Trump is going to claim that the debate was rigged against him.
The President wants a debate where the rules aren’t enforced and he can spend 90 minutes interrupting, bullying, and yelling about Hunter Biden. A structured debate where he might be forced to stay on topic and answer questions only harms Trump.
The debate commission is not putting Trump smearing their credibility because he needs an excuse for what is likely to be another poor debate performance.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association