Elections

Preparations continue for final presidential debate at Belmont University

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The heated presidential race comes to Nashville this week as Belmont University hosts the final debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has adopted new rules ahead of the debate at Belmont to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment.

MORE: Road closures in effect ahead of presidential debate at Belmont University

President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will have their microphones cut off in Thursday’s debate while their rival delivers their opening two-minute answer to each of the debate topics.

The Commission on Presidential Debates released a list of topics for the debate:

  • Fighting COVID-19
  • American Families
  • Race in America
  • Climate Change
  • National Security
  • Leadership

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced the rule changes Monday, three weeks after the opening faceoff between the two presidential contenders that featured frequent interruptions — most by President Trump.

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 format for the second debate will look similar to the first.

Each segment of the 90-minute event will run approximately 15 minutes. The candidates will have two minutes to respond to questions from moderator Kristen Welker of NBC. Welker will control the flow of the segment after her initial question.

Trump has already started attacking Welker, tweeting, “She’s always been terrible & unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters, but I’ll still play the game, The people know!”

Belmont preps for presidential debate, COVID-19 protocols in place

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein spoke with News 2 about what is at stake Thursday.

“I think Kristen Welker the moderator is in an almost impossible position. She’s going to be expected to reign in candidates in who a few weeks ago were all over the place in one of the ugliest debates in American History since then temperatures have cooled a little bit you had the dueling town halls a couple of days ago. Going into this debate there is going to be a widespread expectation the candidates behave themselves and the moderator enforce that behavior,” explained Klein.

The debate is expected to draw a large audience so close to Election Day.

“If you are looking to change the trajectory of a race, the debates are the only opportunity to do that this late and this final debate, given the fact the second presidential debate was cancelled and those two dueling town halls happened instead, this is going to be an enormous television audience,” said Klein.

The debate begins at 8 p.m. Thursday on News 2.

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