Eric Trump on Sunday defended his father’s decision to drop the second presidential debate after the committee leading the confrontation decided to change the format to virtual in light of the president’s positive coronavirus diagnosis.
“My dad wants to take the stage with his opponent,” Eric said Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week”. “He wants to go on stage, look someone in the eye, and Biden isn’t willing to do that. “
“He didn’t want to go on stage with my father. That should tell you everything you need to know about him, literally, ”he said. “My dad wants nothing more than a debate on Thursday. Biden wouldn’t show up.
“The only thing he would do is make a Zoom call,” Eric continued. “And my dad, maybe he’s a traditional guy, he didn’t want to do a glorified conference call for a presidential debate.
Eric said his father will still be participating in the debate in person in Miami on Thursday.
Eric Trump said on Sunday his father wanted to face Joe Biden in person on stage in second debate and ‘look him in the eye’
“The only thing he would do is make a Zoom call,” Eric lamented of Biden. “And my dad, maybe he’s a traditional guy, he didn’t want to do a glorified conference call for a presidential debate”
Biden and his campaign have made it clear they are willing to participate in a virtual debate, but raised concerns last week about an in-person debate if the president does not stay negative for COVID-19 in advance.
The Biparty Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday that it was moving its second debate between Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden to virtual in light of the president’s coronavirus diagnosis earlier this month.
Trump immediately said he would not participate in a debate in a virtual format.
Biden’s campaign later said he would participate in a televised town hall on Thursday – the original night of the debate – given that the second debate was supposed to be a town hall with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully moderator.
“My father wants to take the stage with his opponent,” Eric, Trump’s second son, repeated in a rare TV interview with a channel other than Fox News. “This is how debates have been handled in America for the past 200 years. You stayed there and argued with someone.
He added: “He still wants to do the debate in Miami on Thursday. So if Joe wants to accept, he will definitely be there.
“Biden is ready to go to Pennsylvania or go to a state and do a town hall standing on stage with three or four people. But he won’t stand on the same stage as my father. My dad doesn’t want to have a conference call debate, ”Eric said.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Friday that it was officially canceling the debate the day after it said it was reformatted to virtual.
CPD said the nominees and moderator would still be in Miami, but would participate in the virtual town hall debate from separate locations to address pandemic era concerns.
The Presidential Debates Commission said Thursday it was reformatting the second debate to virtual in light of Trump’s positive coronavirus diagnosis – and on Friday it called off the debate after the president said he would not participate
So far, the third and final presidential debate is scheduled for October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Eric suggested that Trump would likely decline to participate in this third debate as well if he was held virtually.
“My dad doesn’t want to do it on a glorified conference call,” he lamented.
Eric and his siblings Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Tiffany – as well as First Lady Melania Trump – were all pictured in the first row front row without wearing masks as all viewers demanded by the commission.
“I’m happy to wear a mask,” Eric said when asked if he would in future debates.