President Donald Trump on Thursday complained of potential changes proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates that would prevent him from repeatedly interrupting his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, as the President did constantly during the first debate.
Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2020
The comments come after the Commission on Presidential Debates signaled in a statement on Wednesday that it would be carefully considering “tools to maintain order” in an effort to “ensure more orderly discussion of the issues.”
Responding to the initial announcement Wednesday, Trump tweeted insults at his Democratic opponent and took aim at the debate’s moderator Chris Wallace: “Try getting a new Anchor and a smarter Democrat candidate!” he wrote.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany stood by the President’s blunders on Wednesday, asserting during a Fox Business Network interview that Trump “brought the fight that the American people wanted to see.”
Trump campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh on Wednesday suggested that the commission — which is nonpartisan — was only making adjustments because “their guy got pummeled.”
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel similarly suggested on Thursday that she hoped the CPD “does not change the rules to once again protect Joe Biden from answering to the American people.”
The RNC chair suggested during a Fox Business Network interview that changes from the commission were intended to assist Biden, who she says “got away” without answering tough questions at the first debate.
If by “got away” she meant wasn’t given room to answer the questions directed at him due to Trump’s repeated interruptions, you wouldn’t know it.
When pressed, McDaniel repeatedly refused to acknowledge the assessment made by some Trump allies that the President had gone too far during Tuesday’s presidential debate. Several of Trump’s top aides and allies have said that Trump weakened his own reelection bid by relentlessly interrupting his Democratic opponent.
McDaniel maintained that she does not support a potential change that would cut the microphone of either candidate if they break the rules.
“I don’t think you should be changing the rules that they have agreed to,” McDaniel said, suggesting that the proposed changes were being made “arbitrarily.”
Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager for Biden, said the Democratic nominee is ready for the next debate in Miami on Oct. 15.
“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,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “The president will have to choose between responding to voters about questions for which he has offered no answers in this campaign — or repeating last night’s unhinged meltdown.”