Eric Trump suggests debates should have clear podiums to avoid use of notes
During an interview for the “Mark Kaye Show,” Eric Trump knocked Joe Biden for relying too heavily on notes in the previous presidential debate. After Democrats floated the idea of a “mute button” to prevent the president from interjecting during Biden’s allotted time to speak, the younger Trump said the only rule that should change is to prevent candidates from using notes.
“It’s not the way the real world works,” Trump said. “You have to be able to be quick on your feet and you have to actually be able to have a conversation.”
“Stop with this notes nonsense,” he continued.
Though debate questions are not released in advance, candidates frequently carry notecards onto the stage. President Trump himself has used notes in past debates. In 2016 facing off against Hillary Clinton, the phrases “No boots,” “Predictable,” and “Iran — policies” were scrawled on his notecards.
After the moderator, “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, pleaded with Trump and Biden last Tuesday to follow debate guidelines by allowing both candidates a chance to speak, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced it was considering changes to formatting for the next debates “to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”
Trump sounded off about the potential rule change. “Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?” he wrote on Twitter.
According to a Fox News analysis, Trump was the bigger offender in terms of breaking the debate’s rules. Trump interrupted Biden 71 times and Wallace 74 times for a total of 145 times, while Biden interrupted Trump 49 times and Wallace 18 times for a total of 67 times.
Wallace said he is not a fan of the idea to shut off candidate microphones, telling the New York Times “even if the president’s microphone had been shut, he still could have continued to interrupt.”
Sources close to the negotiations between the commission and the campaigns told Fox News that the Biden campaign’s debate negotiator, Brady Williamson, specifically requested a “mute button” be allowed for the next presidential debates.
Williamson denied making the request in an interview with Fox News.
But the Trump campaign, on Thursday, claimed the campaign “can’t deny” the request was made.
“The Biden campaign knows their guy had a lousy performance and so now they’re running to the commission to try to get the rules changed,” Trump campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News. “They can’t deny it because the request was made by their lead negotiator in front of plenty of witnesses.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and John Roberts contributed to this report.