The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced on Thursday that the second presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15 will be virtual “to protect the health and safety of all involved.”
“The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations,” the CPD said in a press release.
However, the president is not having it.
He said during a phone call interview on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” Thursday morning, “The commission changed the debate style and that’s not acceptable to us. I beat him easily in the first debate.”
“I’m not going to do a virtual debate,” Trump continued, adding, “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate.”
He also claimed:
“They’re trying to protect Biden. Everybody is.”
Listen to Trump’s remarks below:
"I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate" — Trump, on with Maria Bartiromo, begins his first post-coronavirus interview by saying he's pulling out of the second debate. (He sounds a little hoarse.) pic.twitter.com/R43JSszfll
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020
Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien also said in a statement, “President Trump won the first debate despite a terrible and biased moderator in Chris Wallace, and everybody knows it.”
The president’s re-election campaign called the decision by the CPD “pathetic.”
“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. That’s not what debates are about or how they’re done.”
Stepien added, “We’ll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.”
However, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said on Thursday, “Vice President Biden looks forward to speaking directly to the American people and comparing his plan for bringing the country together and building back better with Donald Trump’s failed leadership on the coronavirus that has thrown the strong economy he inherited into the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”
The decision to move to a virtual debate follows the first presidential debate on Sept. 29 and Trump’s positive coronavirus diagnosis later that week.
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