The Debate Commission has announced that the next Presidential debate will be virtual.
The announcement came just hours after it was widely considered that Vice President Mike Pence bested Kamala Harris at the VP debate.
We don't know about you…
But to us, this looks like a ploy to "help" Biden.
If the debate is virtual, how can we ensure that there are no teleprompters or "notes" for the candidates to read off of?
Well, President Trump isn't having any of it!
I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That is not what a debate is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It’s ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want.
The best part?
The Trump campaign has suggested that they are planning a HUGE MAGA rally instead!
This way… President Trump can speak directly to the American people.
More details on this developing story below:
The campaign confirmed that Trump will not participate in a virtual debate.
It is unclear if the third debate will also be canceled.
But it appears that the second debate will not occur.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would not participate in the second televised debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden next week after the nonpartisan commission responsible for producing the forums announced that it will be conducted virtually.
“I’m not going to waste my time on virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about,” Trump said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business. “You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It’s ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want.”
The remarks from Trump came shortly after the Commission on Presidential Debates revealed Thursday morning that the town hall-style event on Oct. 15 would feature the two candidates participating “from separate remote locations.”
The town hall participants and moderator Steve Scully of C-SPAN will be located as planned at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, the commission said.
The shift to a virtual format comes as Trump continues treatment for Covid-19 at the White House, after being discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien reaffirmed the president’s position in a statement Thursday, saying Trump will “pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.”
Stepien claimed that Trump “will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate,” and insisted that the “safety of all involved can easily be achieved without canceling a chance for voters to see both candidates go head to head.”
In her own statement, Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield suggested the former vice president would take part in the virtual event, saying that Biden “looks forward to speaking directly to the American people.”
Later Thursday morning, Bedingfield issued a longer statement saying that while Biden “was prepared to accept the CPD’s proposal for a virtual” debate, Trump “clearly does not want to face questions from the voters” on the pandemic and the economy.
Bedingfield said Biden will now “find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly” on Oct. 15, and she urged the commission to reschedule the town hall for Oct. 22 — the date of the third and final presidential debate — so Trump “is not able to evade accountability.”
Speaking to reporters in Delaware, Biden said it was still possible Trump would show up because “he changes his mind every second.”
“We don’t know what the president’s going to do,” Biden said, adding that he was “going to follow the commission recommendations.”
If Trump opts to hold a rally instead, “I don’t know what I’ll do,” Biden said.
It appears more and more likely that President Trump will hold a major rally.
Rallies have been how Trump is able to communicate directly to the American people.
Trump can speak without the media filter directly to his reporters.
Now, the Post Gazette reports that a rally may be in the works to replace the debate:
The president’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said Trump would stage a rally rather than debate, though it’s not yet clear if he will be well enough to do that.
“For the swamp creatures at the Presidential Debate Commission to now rush to Joe Biden’s defense by unilaterally canceling an in-person debate is pathetic,” Stepien said in a statement. “The safety of all involved can easily be achieved without canceling a chance for voters to see both candidates go head to head. We’ll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.”
It’s not the first time the president has skipped a debate. During the 2016 Republican primary, Trump boycotted the last debate before Iowa’s first-in-the nation’s caucuses, holding a fundraiser for veterans instead — a move he later speculated may have contributed to his loss in the state.
Boarding a flight to campaign in Arizona on Thursday, Biden said it’d be “irresponsible” for him to comment on Trump’s decision.
“We don’t know what the president’s going to do,” Biden said. “He changes his mind every second.”
It was unclear whether Biden would attend the debate by himself or whether the event would be fully scrapped. Asked about that prospect, Biden said, “We don’t know enough to know right now.”
His deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, simply said Biden “looks forward to speaking directly to the American people.”
Biden said earlier in the week that he was “looking forward to being able to debate” but added that he and Trump “shouldn’t have a debate” as long as the president remains COVID positive.
We deserve to hear fair and square from our presidential candidates.
But it appears as though the Commission is determined to protect Joe Biden.