Thursday’s Biden campaign apparently acknowledged that the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15, will not take place after the Presidential Debate Commission (CPD) changed the forum to a virtual environment and President Trump failed to do so “Wasting” his “time” take part.
The second Presidential debate was expected to be in a town hall format. In a new statement, the Biden campaign asked the commission to postpone the town hall debate to the third and final showdown.
Biden’s Assistant Campaign Manager, Kate Bedingfield, urged the CPD to use this format for the final presidential debate, scheduled for October 22nd, “so that the president cannot evade accountability”.
“Joe Biden was ready to accept the CPD’s proposal for a virtual town hall, but the president turned it down as Donald Trump does not appear to want to ask his constituents about his mistakes regarding COVID and the economy,” Bedingfield said in a statement The former Vice President Biden will instead “find a suitable place on October 15 to answer questions from voters directly, as he has done several times over the past few weeks”.
“Given the president’s refusal to attend on October 15th, we hope the Debate Commission will move Biden-Trump’s Town Hall to October 22nd so the president cannot evade accountability,” Bedingfield said. “Voters should be able to ask questions directly to both candidates.”
Bedingfield added that “every presidential candidate has attended such an event since 1992 and it would be a shame if Donald Trump were the first to turn down.”
Bedingfield’s comments come after the CPD announced early Thursday that “the second presidential debate will be held in the form of a town meeting with candidates attending from various remote locations.” Steve Scully from C-SPAN will moderate the second presidential debate from Miami.
The move to a virtual environment comes less than a week after the president tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The President continues to recover from COVID-19 at the White House.
But minutes after the CPD announced it, the president said he would not attend and called a virtual debate “ridiculous”.
“The commission has changed the style of debate and that is not acceptable to us,” said Trump on the “morning with Maria”. “I hit him in the first debate, I hit him lightly.”
The President added that he expected “to beat him in the second debate too”.
“I’m not going to have a virtual debate,” Trump continued. “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate.”
Meanwhile, Biden responded to Trump’s claims when he spoke to reporters in Delaware on Thursday.
“We don’t know what the president is going to do, he’s changing his mind every second, so it would be irresponsible for me to comment now,” said Biden. “I will follow the recommendations of the commission.”
But during his interview on Thursday, the president said he would not “sit at a computer” to debate and called it “ridiculous”.
“You’re trying to protect Biden,” said Trump. “Everybody is.”
Moments later, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said the CPD was rushing to Biden’s “defense by unilaterally canceling a personal debate” and called it “pathetic”.
“That is not what debates are about, or how they are conducted,” said Stepien. “Here are the facts: President Trump will have released several negative tests prior to the debate, so this unilateral statement is not required. The safety of all parties can easily be achieved without losing the chance for voters to lose both candidates on their heads deliver.” to head. “
He added, “We’re going to pass this sad excuse to save Joe Biden and hold a rally instead.”
The debate format changes come less than a week after the president announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That announcement cast doubt on the status of any future debates in 2020, although the debate between Vice President Mike Pence and California Senator Kamala Harris continued as planned on Wednesday night, with candidates splitting on stage after both of them negative for the coronavirus had tested.
Trump was released from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.
Since Trump’s announcement of his positive coronavirus test, numerous members of his inner circle in the White House and his re-election campaign have been affected by the infection.
Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien also tested positive for COVID-19 and is working remotely. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced on Monday that she had tested positive for COVID-19, in addition to other White House staff who tested positive including Senior Advisor Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller and Nick Luna, Director of Oval Office Operations.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, White House doctor Dr. Sean Conley that the president has been “fever-free” for four days and has had no symptoms of the novel coronavirus for “over 24 hours”.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Pat Ward contributed to this report.