Cillizza Comments On Upcoming Debate


With the first presidential debate just about two weeks away, the 90-minute showdown in Atlanta on June 27 will be a pivotal event in this year's campaign schedule. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will meet for the first time since their debate in October 2020. Each candidate will have a two-minute slot to respond to questions, followed by a one-minute period to counter and reply.

Former CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza highlighted that the debate rules largely favor Biden over Trump. “Rule number one: the mics for each candidate will be muted when it is not their turn to talk,” Cillizza explained.

He expressed mixed feelings about this rule, noting that the most memorable moments in debates often come from unscripted exchanges. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that muting the mics would prevent Trump from interrupting and dominating the conversation, as he did in previous debates.

Cillizza pointed out that Trump’s strategy often involves continuous talking to throw his opponent off balance. Thus, muting the microphones is likely to benefit Biden, who can maintain his composure without being interrupted. The debate will also include two commercial breaks, during which campaign staff will not be allowed to interact with their candidates.

Both candidates will have red lights indicating they have five seconds remaining to speak, which will flash solid red when their time is up. Additionally, each candidate’s microphone will be silenced when it is the other’s turn to speak, according to The New York Times. During their last debate, Trump dominated the conversation, leading Biden to ask him to “keep quiet.”

CNN reported that the debate, hosted by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, will be the first in-person showdown of the 2024 campaign between Biden and Trump. Both candidates have accepted the network’s invitation and agreed to the rules and format outlined in letters sent to their campaigns in May.

The 90-minute debate will feature two commercial breaks, and campaign staff will not be allowed to interact with the candidates during these breaks. Both candidates will stand at uniform podiums, with their positions determined by a coin flip.

Microphones will remain muted except for the candidate who is speaking, and no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on stage. Candidates will be provided with a pen, a pad of paper, and a bottle of water.

Unlike previous debates, there will be no studio audience, but the moderators will enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion. This debate promises to be a critical moment in the 2024 campaign, with the new rules designed to promote a more structured and orderly exchange of ideas.

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