Shortly after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the next 2020 presidential debate would be held virtually, President Donald Trump responded with a quick rejection of that idea. “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about,” Trump said to Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien quickly addressed the new format as well. “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,” he said. He continued by addressing safety concerns. “The safety of all involved can easily be achieved without canceling a chance for voters to see both candidates go head to head. We’ll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.”
The debate is currently scheduled for October 15 and would be held with Trump and Vice President Joe Biden in separate locations “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved with the second presidential debate,” the commission said.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden accepted the idea of the virtual debate. As his campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said, “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.”
When asked about the president’s response to the virtual debate, Biden suggested that Trump could still change his mind. “We don’t know what the president is going to do,” Biden told reporters before catching a flight to Arizona. “He changes his mind every second, so for me to comment on that now would be irresponsible. I’m going to follow the commission’s recommendations. If he goes off and he has a rally, I don’t know what I’ll do.”