With 23 debates held thus far, the GOP candidates have conjured a great deal of applause, cheers, boos and laughter. But whether or not audience reactions are allowed is largely dependent on the commentator and arena: Brian Williams instructed the audience of this Monday's debate broadcast on NBC to refrain from clapping or any verbal reactions. On Tuesday, Newt Gingrich told "Fox & Friends" host Gretchen Carlson that he disagrees with silencing debate audiences, and threatened not to participate in future debates that prohibit reactions.
Janet Brown is executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates. Janet has helped to set the rules for many debates over the past 25 years, including whether or not to allow audience applause and reaction.