Fox Hosts Complain About Trump Potentially Getting Muzzled During Debates

(Screenshot: Fox News/Snapstream)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The hosts of “Fox and Friends” griped on Thursday morning about the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) reportedly changing its rules to allow President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden to be put on mute during the upcoming debates if they refuse to let the other speak per CPD rules.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade painted the idea as a personal indignity to President Donald Trump.

“It’s also insulting to the most powerful man in the world to be silenced and have their mic cut or her mic cut in the future, if that’s how you’re going to do it,” Kilmeade said.

Co-host Steve Doocy wondered “who decides to cut off the President of the United States” and argued that doing so could potentially lead to “conspiracy theory ideas.”

“You know, they both have the right to say what they want,” Doocy said of Trump and Biden. “They just have to figure out how to do it within the rules.”

The CPD announced on Wednesday that the first debate on Tuesday, during which Trump regularly heckled and spoke over both his Democratic challenger and debate moderator Chris Wallace, “made clear that the additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues” and that the commission would announce the new rules “shortly.”

CBS News reported on Wednesday that one measure the CPD plans to enact is cutting off the candidates’ mics if they violate debate rules.

Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh accused the CPD of deciding to change its rules because “their guy got pummeled.”

“President Trump was the dominant force and now Joe Biden is trying to work the refs,” Murtaugh said in a statement. “They shouldn’t be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

Kate Bedingfield, the communications director at the Biden campaign, said the Democratic candidate would agree to the CPD’s changes for the second debate on October 15, which will be held in a town hall format in Miami, Florida.

“He’ll be focused on answering questions from the voters there, under whatever set of rules the commission develops to try to contain Donald Trump’s behavior,” said Bedingfield.

Watch Kilmeade and Doocy below:

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: