There Is a Reason You Might Not Hear the Presidential Candidates at the Debate

"Depressing that the leadership of 300+ million people requires this to act like competent adults."

Anna Quintana - Author

Jun. 27 2024, Published 2:50 p.m. ET

Donald Trump and Joe Biden at 2020 debate
Source: Getty Images

Viewers of the first 2024 presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump might notice the sound cutting off before a candidate finishes speaking.

No, that is not a technical difficulty, and actually intentional.

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CNN has officially added a mute button to the microphone at the debate. So, what does this mean for the candidates, and how does it work? Keep reading to find out.

trump biden debate
Source: Getty Images
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The microphone at the presidential debate has an automatic mute button.

According to CNN, there will be two green lights on the podium next to the microphone. When they are on, the candidate knows the mic is on and they can speak. When they are off, this means the microphone is off.

This will, hopefully, prevent both Trump and Biden from going over their allotted time or interrupting each other.

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If one of the candidates attempts to speak when their microphone is off, the audience and viewers watching at home will be unable to hear them, just see their lips moving.

Both campaign teams were made aware of the addition of the "mute button" and agreed to the new rules.

There are mixed reaction to the debate microphone on social media.

george santos debate tweet
Source: Twitter

While many support the ability to "mute" one candidate while the other has the floor, there are also those who do not like the new rule CNN has implemented.

"This is the most staged debate in American history… a true shame to democracy," disgraced Congressman George Santos tweeted.

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Another person added, "What if Biden can hear Trump but we can’t? I’m worried about that. I doubt Trump will shut up when the mic is off."

Some just find the need for this technology depressing.

debate mic tweet
Source: Twitter
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"Yes, like childproofing. Depressing that the leadership of 300+ million people over the past 8 years requires this to act like competent adults," read a comment on X.

"Although sad that the country’s political discourse has denigrated to such a state that this sort of tech is deemed necessary," shared another.

Other rules to keep in mind for the debate is that neither candidate will be allowed to bring props or pre-written notes on the stage, they will be given a pen, a pad of paper, and a bottle of water.

This will be the first of two debates scheduled for Biden and Trump. The next debate is expected to take place on September 10, 2024, on ABC.

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