Republican President Donald Trump has rejected the new format recommended by the Commission on Presidential Debates for the next debate, scheduled to be held on October 15. The commission announced a plan on Thursday, October 8, 2020, to hold the presidential debate virtually between Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden in an attempt to avoid the risk of coronavirus infection and spread.
The first debate between the two candidates was held last week and ended into chaotic after Trump consistently interrupted his opponent, Biden as well as the moderator of the debate throughout the deliberation. Meanwhile, the lone debate between the two Vice President candidates, Republican nominee Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Senator Kamala Harris ended yesterday by focusing on Trump’s pandemic policy.
Trump received several criticisms as he still seemed to ignore the severity of the coronavirus pandemic after having recently recovered from the virus infection. Last Thursday, Trump and the First Lady were tested positive for the novel coronavirus and he was returned to the White House from the hospital on Monday.
Trump Opposed Virtual Debate
Speaking on a phone interview with Fox Business, Trump said, “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate, that’s not what debating is all about,” which reflected that he sharply opposed the commission’s new presidential debate format. The Commission announced on Thursday that it planned to host a town hall-style conversation and that voters and the moderator would ask the candidates questions from the original debate site in Miami.
Rejecting the commission’s change of plan, Trump stressed, “You sit behind a computer and do a debate – it’s ridiculous and then they cut you off whenever they want,” by added that he was eager to hold campaign rallies with his supporters.
Biden, who is currently leading in nationwide opinion polls, told reporters on Thursday he would follow the recommendations of the debate commission. Biden said he did not know what action he would take if Trump refused to take part. He added, “We don’t know what the president’s going to do. He changes his mind every second.”
Trump Facing Criticism on Pandemic
The Trump administration was criticized by Democrats as well as health professionals as it ignored the gravity of the pandemic impact, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans, more than any other country, and thrown millions of people out of work. The recent election debates focused on the pandemic as the central agenda for the election and became very political since trump and his core advisors including his campaign manager Bill Stepien was tested positive for the virus.
Speaking with Fox Business, Trump made comments about the Vice President debate and repeatedly claimed that Pence “destroyed” Harris and called her twice as a “monster.” The comments sparked criticisms from Democrats saying that the President’s words were sexiest and racist attacks against Harris, the first Black woman to appear on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Meanwhile, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News later on Thursday that he expected the commission to reconsider its decision so that Trump should appear at the next debate to press his case to the American people. He added, “I expect you’re going to see a renegotiation of that.”
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