President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would not “waste his time” participating in the second presidential debate next week after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced it would take place virtually following his Covid-diagnosis. 19.
The debate is still expected to take place in the form of a town hall, but the CPD said Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, will be invited to participate remotely. C-SPAN moderator Steve Scully will be at the venue for the debate, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, on Thursday, October 15.
In an interview on the Fox Business Network Thursday morning, Trump said the new format of debate was “not acceptable to us.”
“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” Trump said, adding that he doesn’t like the idea of a virtual debate because a moderator could interrupt it at any time.
Biden’s campaign responded to the announcement by indicating that Biden has no such qualms.
Vice President Biden is eager to speak directly to the American people and compare his plan to bring the country closer and rebuild better with Donald Trump’s leadership failure on the coronavirus that has thrown the strong economy he inherited into the worst. recession since the Great Depression, ”said deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield.
Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, called it “pathetic” that the CPD “unilaterally” acted to take the debate away, saying Trump may soon test negative for Covid-19. The White House has repeatedly declined to say when Trump last received a negative test result.
“That the swamp creatures of the Presidential Debate Commission are now rushing to the defense of Joe Biden by unilaterally canceling an in-person debate is pathetic,” he said in a statement, adding, “We will pass this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.
Frank Fahrenkopf, chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, told NBC News that “no presidential candidate is required to debate.”
A person familiar with the commission’s plans said the decision was not made in consultation with the campaigns, and were told on Thursday morning just before the information was released, adding that the assumption is that the third debate will proceed as planned, provided that both candidates are in good health.
The president first showed symptoms of the coronavirus last Thursday, according to the White House, 14 days before the next debate. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should self-isolate for 10 days from the point of systems presentation and 20 days in severe cases.
This week, Biden, who shared a stage of debate with the president days before his positive diagnosis, signaled that while Trump is still contagious, the debate may not go as planned.
“I don’t know what the exact rules will be and I’m not sure what President Trump is now – I don’t know what his status is,” Biden told reporters. “I look forward to being able to debate him, but I just hope all protocols are followed, which is necessary at the time.
Earlier today, Trump tweeted that he was “looking forward to” the debate.
The president’s doctors said he was recovering, despite being placed on steroid therapy typically used in more severe cases of Covid-19.
So far, 23 people close to the White House and three Republican senators have tested positive for the virus in the days surrounding Trump showing symptoms for the first time.
Biden has repeatedly tested negative since meeting on the debate stage with Trump last Tuesday, his campaign has said. Meanwhile, during Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Was separated from Vice President Mike Pence by a plexiglass barrier.
Pence has tested negative for the virus several times in recent days, his team said.
The debate committee was considering changing the format of the debate as well as the rules after the first Trump-Biden match turned into a chaotic screaming match with the candidates – especially Trump – interrupting during their allotted speaking time .