Trump campaign adviser signals president will tone it down at upcoming debate

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“I do think the president’s going to want to hear Joe Biden’s answer on some of these, and we’ll definitely give him all the time that Joe Biden wants to talk about packing the court,” Miller said. “And I think he’s going to get it on Thursday.”

Reince Priebus, Trump’s first White House chief of staff, also said Sunday that the president “is going to be pivoting” in the final days of the campaign to focus more on the economy, and suggested Trump would cede more time to Biden at this week’s debate.

“I think this upcoming debate is going to be really important, that the president is … likable, fun, have a good time,” Priebus told CBS’s “Face the Nation” in an interview. “Let Joe Biden speak, and let Joe Biden defend the Obama economy.”

In their first debate late last month, Trump repeatedly bulldozed through Biden’s responses and moderator Chris Wallace’s questions, even after being reminded of the rules governing speaking time that were agreed upon beforehand by both campaigns.

The president’s aggressive performance prompted the Commission on Presidential Debates to announce potential format changes to the remaining forums to “maintain order” and ensure “additional structure.”

According to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted the day after the first debate, 86 percent of all voters who tuned in said the candidates were “interruptive” — but not in equal measure. The vast majority of respondents said Trump butted in more than Biden, 71 percent to 18 percent.

The third and likely final debate between Biden and Trump will take place Thursday in Nashville, Tenn., and will be moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News.

The candidates’ second debate, which was scheduled for last Thursday, was canceled after the debate commission announced the forum would be conducted virtually in the aftermath of Trump contracting the coronavirus.

Trump objected to participating remotely, and after a back-and-forth between his and Biden’s campaigns, the candidates ended up taking part in dueling town hall events broadcast on separate networks.