Controversies around third presidential debate in US: Topics, moderator and rules | World News - Hindustan Times
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Controversies around third presidential debate in US: Topics, moderator and rules

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com| Edited by: Mallika Soni
Oct 21, 2020 10:57 PM IST

The debate is consequential for Trump as polls show that voters are favouring Biden in the election. It is also important for Biden because as per US media, his lead is decreasing in the battleground states.

The third and final presidential debate before the election in the United States is set to take place on October 22 between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The debate is consequential for Trump as polls show that voters are favouring Biden in the election. It is also important for Biden because as per US media, his lead is decreasing in the battleground states.

The debate has already become controversial even before it has taken place which is certainly a reflection on the fact that the race to the White House is getting heated as November 3 is coming closer.(AFP Photo)
The debate has already become controversial even before it has taken place which is certainly a reflection on the fact that the race to the White House is getting heated as November 3 is coming closer.(AFP Photo)

The debate has already become controversial even before it has taken place which is certainly a reflection on the fact that the race to the White House is getting heated as November 3 is coming closer.

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Controversy over the debate topics

The Trump campaign wants foreign policy to be one of the topics to be discussed in the debate. Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien wrote a letter to the US Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) urging them to include foreign policy as a debate topic. But, the list announed by moderator Kristn Welker doesn’t include this. Trump’s campaign has accused the organisers of deliberately leaving out the topic of foreign policy in order to “help” Biden.

Controversy over the debate moderator

Questions were also raised by the Trump campaign and the US President himself about the credibility of the debate moderator Kristen Welker. Trump attacked the NBC correspondent by calling her “fake news reporter”, “terrible” and “unfair”. Fox News (which is believed to be pro-Trump) did a segment on Welker and alleged that her parents “poured cash” into the Democratic Party and that Welker has “deep democratic ties”.

Controversy over the debate rules

In the first presidential debate, both Biden and Trump repeatedly interrupted each other and thus the CPD introduced a new rule of muting microphones and giving full, uninterrupted two minutes to each candidate at the beginning of each 15-minute segment. The Trump campaign agreed to the muting of the microphones, adding that the new rules are “last-minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favoured candidate”.

The debate will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

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