Debate organisers mull changes after Trump-Biden spat


Washington, Oct 1 (IANS): The organisers of the US presidential debates have said that they were mulling changes to the format in an effort to ensure that the remaining two encounters between President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden were less chaotic, media reports said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said: "The Commission on Presidential Debates 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 CPD further said that it was "carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly", without elaborating further.

During their first 90-minute presidential debate on Tuesday night which took a chaotic turn, insults such as "clown", "liar", "just shush for a minute" and "keep yapping" took centre-stage as the two rivals tore into each other in the presence Fox News anchor and moderator Chris Wallace.

The President frequently interrupted and heckled Biden, ignoring repeated pleas from Wallace, for Trump to stick to his allotted time, CNN reported.

Following the heckling, at one point, told the President: "Will you shut up, man?"

In its statement on Wednesday, the CPD said it was "grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night's debate", adding that it "intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates".

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has already criticised the format change plans, the BBC reported.

On Wednesday night, the President's campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh said: "They are only doing this because their guy got pummelled last night.

"President Trump was the dominant force and now Joe Biden is trying to work the refs. They shouldn't be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game."

On the contrary, Kate Bedingfield, Deputy Manager for Biden's campaign, said the former Vice President would participate "under whatever set of rules the commission develops to try to contain Donald Trump's behaviour".

The next debate is scheduled to take place on October 15 in Miami.

  

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