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Biden Pushes To Reschedule Town Hall Debate So Trump Cannot 'Evade Accountability'

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign says President Donald Trump should not be able to “evade” questions from voters after it appeared that the second presidential debate might not happen.  

In a statement on Thursday, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield urged the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to reschedule the town hall event, “Given the President’s refusal to participate on October 15th, we hope the Debate Commission will move the Biden-Trump Town Hall to October 22nd, so that the President is not able to evade accountability.”

“The voters should have a chance to ask questions of both candidates, directly. Every Presidential candidate since 1992 has participated in such an event, and it would be a shame if Donald Trump was the first to refuse,” the statement added.

Read the statement below:

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Bedingfield said that the debate may be called off, but that does not mean Biden will not be answering voters’ questions on Oct. 15. She said the campaign would find an “appropriate place to take questions from voters directly.”

On Thursday morning, the CPD announced that the next presidential debate would be all virtual due to safety concerns around COVID-19, as IJR reported

In a statement, the commission said, “The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations.”

However, Trump did not like that decision and told Fox News, “The commission changed the debate style, and that’s not acceptable to us. I beat [Biden] easily in the first debate.”

He added, “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate.”

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The Trump campaign also released a statement to ask the CPD to reschedule the debate, “The American people should not be deprived of the chance to see the two candidates for president debate face to face two more times just because the Commission on Presidential Debates wants to protect Joe Biden.”

“We agree that this should happen on October 22, and accordingly, the third debate should then be shifted back one week to October 29,” the statement added. 

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The Trump campaign claimed it was “suspect” that the commission announced the change in the debate format “at 7:30am ET today immediately after Vice President Mike Pence had just wiped the floor with Senator Kamala Harris.”

It also said a virtual debate would be a “nonstarter” because Biden “would be relying on his teleprompter from his basement bunker.”

While both campaigns agreed that the debate should be pushed back a week, the Biden campaign did not seem interested in having a debate later than Oct. 22.

“Donald Trump doesn’t make the debate schedule; the Debate Commission does. We accepted the three dates — Sept. 29, Oct. 15, and Oct. 22 — in June,” Bedingfield said.

She added, “Trump’s erratic behavior does not allow him to rewrite the calendar, and pick new dates of his choosing. We look forward to participating in the final debate, scheduled for October 22, which already is tied for the latest debate date in 40 years. Donald Trump can show up, or he can decline again. That’s his choice.” 

After a chaotic first debate, the CPD announced it would make changes to the debate format to add “additional structure.”

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