Speaking with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Trump said the proposed format, in which each candidate would appear via a live feed from separate remote locations, was unacceptable.
Trump said that he’s “not going to waste” his time doing a virtual debate and dismissed the proposed arrangement for the October 15 faceoff.
"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
The announcement of the proposed ‘town meeting’ format pushed by the Commission on Presidential Debates came less than a week after Trump tested positive for Covid-19.
The US President denounced the change in format, while also claiming victory in the first debate which was widely viewed as chaotic to the point of being described by mainstream media commentators as a “s**tshow.”
Trump said he was unwilling to “sit at a computer” and called the mere suggestion “ridiculous.” Earlier this month, the president warned the commission against changing the format of future debates.
Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2020
The Trump campaign said it would hold a rally instead of attending the next debate. Meanwhile, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield appeared to accept the terms of the new debate format. “Vice President Biden looks forward to speaking directly to the American people,” she said.
Earlier this week, Biden said the pair “shouldn’t have a debate” if Trump is still infected with the virus, but said that he would base a decision on his participation on advice from medical experts.
The news came the morning after a lacklustre vice presidential debate between Trump’s right-hand man Mike Pence and Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris.
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