President Donald Trump Plans to Debate Joe Biden Despite Rule Changes

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News speaks as President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speak during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) —  President Donald Trump plans to attend Thursday’s debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden despite rule changes — opposed by his campaign — that are meant to foster more ordered discussions.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says Trump “is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last-minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate.”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday that the second and final debate between the two candidates will have each nominee muted while the other delivers his two-minute remarks at the outset of each of the six debate topics. The remainder of each 15-minute block will be open discussion, without any muting, the commission said.

The nonpartisan Commission announced the rule changes, three weeks after a chaotic opening faceoff between the two presidential contenders that featured frequent interruptions — most by Trump.

The commission has faced pressure from the Trump campaign to avoid changing the rules, while Biden’s team was hoping for a more ordered debate. In a statement, the commission said it “had determined that it is appropriate to adopt measures intended to promote adherence to agreed-upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately comment on the new rule.

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