PHOTO CREDITS: SAUL LOEB/AFP
President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, will take the stage tonight — Thursday, Oct. 22 — for their final debate.
Thursday’s debate, starting at 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT), from Nashville, Tennessee, marks the candidates’ second and final face-to-face meeting, with Election Day less than two weeks away. The debate will take place at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University.
After viewers of the last presidential debate bemoaned the moderator’s inability to cut off the candidates’ microphones, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates responded with an announcement this week that each candidate’s microphone will be turned off while his opponent gives a two-minute answer to an initial question on each debate topic. After those initial replies, the microphones will stay on during open discussion, leaving it likely there will still be lots of crosstalk during rebuttals.
The debate will be moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker. Welker will be the first Black woman to serve as the moderator of a presidential debate since Carole Simpson in 1992. The debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments, each on a topic selected by Welker: “Fighting COVID-19,” “American Families,” “Race in America,” “Climate Change,” “National Security” and “Leadership.” Trump and Biden will each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivers an opening two-minute answer to each of the six debate topics, the commission announced. The mute button won’t figure into the open discussion portion of the debate.
The 90-minute debate will start at 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) and will be aired on major networks and cable news channels including ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, PBS, NBC, MSNBC, Noticias Telemundo and C-SPAN. Most of the networks will offer a way to watch the debate live online, through their apps and accounts on YouTube and other social media channels (AP).
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE