Trump-Biden brawl in Cleveland prompts debate commission to consider format changes for future encounters

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Trump-Biden brawl in Cleveland prompts debate commission to consider format changes for future encounters

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Who won the presidential debate is in the eye of the beholder as Trump and Biden argue, giving little of substance to voters and both claiming victory.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON –  High school teacher James Miller was skeptical about tuning in to Tueday’s presidential debate betwen President Donald Trump and Democratic Joe Biden, but his wife convinced him to watch. Now he regrets it.

“It was a brawl,” Miller, 49,  former debate coach at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky, told USA Today. “It was two old guys arguing at the back table in the bar.  “As somebody who teaches persuasion, rhetoric and debate, that was definitely not a debate.”

The clash between Trump and Biden clash on Tuesday was widely panned as an acrimonious exchange of insults rather than a meaningful discussion of policy differences.

The debate has spawned multiple calls across the country for major changes to presidential debates moving forward.

The organization that oversees the presidential debates says it will be adding “additional tools” to prevent a repeat of Tuesday’s night’s raucous confrontation between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden.

“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 Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday.

The commision said it was “carefully considering” changes and would announce them shortly.

The second of three debates between Trump and Biden is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.

More: Chris Wallace lost control of the Trump-Biden debate on a historically bad night of TV

More: ‘Will you shut up, man?’: Testy exchanges on health care, Supreme Court among debate top moments

Biden’s supporters want future moderators to be able to shut off microphones so Trump can’t talk over his opponent as much as he did. Trump’s supporters took umbrage over Biden’s performance too. The former vice president called the president a “clown” and told him to “shut up” as Trump jabbed at him.

Tuesday’s debate, where moderator Chris Wallace of FOX News often tried in vain to prevent continuous interruptions – mostly by Trump – also raised larger questions about whether future ones can avoid the disorderliness of the event in Cleveland.

The two candidates interrupted either Wallace’s questions or their opponent’s 93 times in the 90-minute debate, according to the Washington Post. Trump was responsible for 71 of them, compared to Biden’s 22.

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