The CPD Cancels Second debate After Trump Declines A Virtual Debate
The CPD (Commission on Presidential Debates) on Friday called the second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden off since the president insisted on an in-person debate despite concerns regarding his COVID-19 diagnosis. According to organizers, the commission had recommended holding a virtual debate, but the president turned down the suggestion.
The cancellation is the conclusion of a fierce 48-hour discussion between the CPD and both campaigns, and means what would have been the third debate on Oct. 22 in Nashville could be the final meeting between the two leaders. The commission's decision was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
In its statement, the commission confirmed that there would be no debate on Oct. 15. The CPD also said it would deviate its focus on preparing for the concluding presidential debate, which is slated to take place on Oct. 22.
Backed by their health advisers, the commission said on Thursday that because the president tested positive for COVID-19, the debate that was slated to take place in Miami would be held virtually, with Trump and Biden appearing from remote locations. The POTUS rejected the idea, saying he would not participate and set forth a myriad of events that raises questions regarding the future of all general election debates, CNN reported.
Responding to Trump's cancellation, a spokeswoman for Biden's campaign said they would have agreed to participate in a virtual debate next Thursday. Still, because Trump bailed, they would come up with another format so that the former vice president could take questions. Keeping in line with that, ABC News announced later in the day that they would be hosting a town hall with Biden.
Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates released a statement on Friday saying, Biden is waiting with bated breath to make his case to Americans about how to deal with this pandemic, restore the country's leadership, as well as its alliances in the world, and bring the people together. Taking a jab at the president, Bates said it is shameful that Trump refused to participate in the only debate which allows voters to ask the questions, adding that it is no surprise.
On the other hand, the Trump campaign released three statements on Thursday, responding to their candidate not participating in the debate. The statement criticized the CPD, urged Biden to agree to an in-person debate, and said it was willing to postpone the Oct. 15 debate to Oct. 22, and then push the third debate to Oct. 29, just a few days before the Election Day. Biden's campaign turned down the idea.