I have a Republican friend down Key West way, who quietly voted for Donald Trump in 2016. My friend is an Army Special Forces combat veteran. He spent quite a while in the banking industry in Key West, before going to work for a company that manages wealthy people's money. He is the chairman of a local charter school. He serves on many non-profit boards. He is on the local newspaper editorial board. He is chairman of a local non-profit that hosts candidate events. He is the moderator for those candidate events. He often is the moderator for candidate events hosted by other non-profits in Key West. "That was an embarrassment of a debate," he texted me yesterday morning.
I read online this morning that thought is being given to allowing the moderators of the next two presidential debates to turn off a candidate's mic. I proposed a kill switch in yesterday's post at this blog. However, I don't think the moderator should have discretion. I think the moderator should be required to turn off the mike of the candidate who is not speaking, and I think the moderator should be required to tell the candidates and the audience that at the beginning of the debate.
During the embarrassment of a debate:
President Trump’s refusal to condemn an extremist right-wing group in his first debate with Joseph R. Biden Jr. sent a shudder through the Republican Party at a critical moment in the 2020 campaign on Wednesday, as prominent lawmakers expressed unease about Mr. Trump’s conduct amid mounting fears that it could damage the party on Election Day.
It was the second time in two weeks that a collection of party leaders broke with Mr. Trump over behavior they regarded as beyond the pale. Last week, Republicans distanced themselves from Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to promise a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.
This time, the subject was racist extremism and the president’s response to a demand from Mr. Biden during Tuesday night’s debate that he denounce the Proud Boys, an organization linked with white supremacy and acts of violence. Mr. Trump answered by telling the group to “stand back and stand by,” a message taken by members of the organization as a virtual endorsement.
On Wednesday, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, called it “unacceptable not to condemn white supremacists,” without criticizing Mr. Trump by name, while Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the president should “make it clear Proud Boys is a racist organization antithetical to American ideals.”