The Trump and Biden campaigns agreed to the rule change.
Thursday night’s debate would have been the third between the two men. Trump and Biden were scheduled to debate Oct. 15, but Trump rejected a last-minute change from the commission that would have made the debate virtual, instead of an in-person, town hall format. The nonpartisan commission cited a need “to protect the health and safety of all involved with the second presidential debate” in the wake of Trump’s recent bout with the coronavirus. It would have been held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and moderated by Steve Scully of C-SPAN.
The commission said both campaigns “this week again reaffirmed their agreement to the two-minute, uninterrupted rule,” adding that the measures weren’t a change of the rules but were intended to make sure the existing rules were enforced.
“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today,” the commission said. “We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”