Updated Sep 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Commission on Presidential Debates wants changes

A split photo of Joe Biden and Donald Trump at the presidential debate
Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it plans to implement changes to rules for the remaining debates, after Tuesday night's head-to-head between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was practically incoherent for most of the night.

What they are saying: "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 said in a statement.

  • The CPD said it would announce the new rules shortly, and that the commission "intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates."

Driving the news: The debate was chaotic, to say the least, as Trump ignored the rules and spouted a series of claims, lies and denials throughout the evening. As Axios' Mike Allen wrote: "At literally no point was there an agreed-upon baseline of facts upon which to debate policy."

  • The two men often broke into open insults of each other.
  • Pundits called it a "dark event."

The most headline-grabbing moment of the evening came when Trump refused to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups and told the Proud Boys, a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, to "stand back and stand by."

What they're saying: “They’re only doing this because their guy got pummeled last night," said Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh. "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."

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