Donald Trump will not go quietly. Even though voters will not be able to hear it.
The president denounced on Tuesday morning the new rules of debate providing for the muting of his microphones and that of his Democratic candidate Joe Biden while the competing candidate gives his initial two-minute answer to a question from the moderator in the second and final Thursday presidential debate in Nashville.
The rules, announced on Monday by the Presidential Debates Committee, aim to avoid chaotic and widely denounced display during the first debate, when moderator Chris Wallace had to repeatedly demand that candidates – mainly the president – stop voting. talk about his opponent.
“Everything is crazy. It’s so organized. It’s amazing. We’ve been winning for so long,” Trump, who has lagged in both nationally and nationally polls, said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday. “They are not good people. This commission – a lot of fun things going on on the microphone with them,” he added.
Cartoons on the 2020 elections
Trump then accused the commission of “muffling” his microphone in 2016 when he debated Hillary Clinton. In fact, there was an audio glitch that prevented people in the auditorium from hearing it, but did not prevent the tens of millions of viewers who were watching at home from hearing it. He criticized moderator Kristen Welker, saying she was an unfair choice because her parents contributed to the Democratic candidate’s campaigns.
The fact that Trump is ready to debate Biden again without being able to interrupt him at will is an indicator of how much the president needs to change the course of the campaign.
The polls seem to tighten somewhat: A University of North Florida survey released Tuesday morning, for example, shows the two men in a virtual tie, with Biden securing support from 48% of likely voters and Trump, 47% support. In Pennsylvania, Biden is only 4 percentage points ahead, 49% to 45% for Trump, according to a Ipsos / Reuters poll published Monday. Either state could determine the outcome of the election.
And Biden’s own campaign has warned fans the race is much closer than public polls indicate.
Still, Trump appears increasingly frantic as election day approaches, saying Biden should be jailed and calling journalist a “criminal” for not promoting an unfounded story about Biden’s son , Hunter, who the Trump campaign says could derail the former vice president, many as Clinton’s email controversy damaged her at the end of the 2016 race.
On Monday night, while campaigning at a rally in Arizona, Trump said America was tired of hearing about the coronavirus and criticized Biden for listening to scientists – a slam the Biden campaign was happy to let the president do it. In a call with campaign staff, the president denounced infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci and “those idiots” in government warning people of yet another drop in infections.
Thursday’s debate offers the president what could be his last chance to weaken Biden in the home stretch of the campaign.
For Biden, muting the microphone is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it relieves Trump’s barrage of accusations – much like the “Saturday Night Live” sketch mocking the first debate, in which Jim Carrey, playing Biden, pulls out a remote and “mutes” Alec Baldwin playing Trump.
But without Trump’s disruption, Biden could do what the Trump campaign hopes he will do – goof or misstep.
“Actually the interesting thing is they said if you let him talk he’ll lose his chain of thoughts because he’s gonzo,” Trump said on the Fox show, when he spoke to reporters as they tried to ask him if he wanted to interrupt Biden less in the final debate.
“There’s a chain of thought, that there’s a lot of people saying he’s talking, because he’s losing his train – he’s losing his train. He’s losing his mind, frankly,” Trump said. This time, at least, voters will be able to hear both candidates plead their case – or flout them.