Washington: The Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden will square off on Thursday for the final round of presidential debates offering them the last chance to reach out to a broad bipartisan audience less than two weeks before the election.
Their second televised showdown takes place in Nashville, Tennessee, and will cover six topics chosen by the moderator, NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker – Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, and Leadership.
Accusing organizers of having a bias against him and favouring his opponent, Trump sought to re-focus the agenda on foreign policy issues and protested against tougher moderation rules, but eventually agreed to participate.
The Commission on Presidential Debates now gives each participant two minutes of uninterrupted remarks at the beginning of every 15 minute segment of the show by muting an opponent’s microphone. The new rule seeks to prevent interruptions that marred the first debate held on September 29.
Stricter anti-coronavirus measures are also expected after Trump briefly contracted the disease. Upon recovery he refused to debate Biden virtually and instead they both held dueling town hall meetings with voters. Their running mates, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, were separated on stage by a double layer of Plexiglas and 12 feet of distance during their only head-to-head showdown.
According to the Axios news portal, aides are telling Trump not to interrupt Biden. They believe that the Democratic challenger will be seen “wandering rhetorically” if the president allows him to speak. Trump has also been advised to tell more jokes to be perceived as likable and go on the offensive against his rival’s son, Hunter Biden, following a data leak on his overseas business dealings published by the New York Post, the article said.
For Trump debates may be his best chance to familiarize Biden’s supporters with allegations of corruption which are largely ignored by pro-Democratic media and muffed by major social platforms.
US general elections are to be held on November 3. Trump so far trails Biden in most polls.