Trump Says He Won’t Participate in Virtual Second Presidential Debate
“The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations,” the Commission on Presidential Debates announced via a statement Thursday, “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.”
“The town meeting participants and the moderator, Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer & Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks, will be located at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida. The White House Pool will provide coverage of the second presidential debate,” the statement concludes. This change from an in-person debate to a virtual one comes a week after President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
However, President Trump said on Fox Business soon after the announcement that he will not participate. “That’s not acceptable to us,” he said of the change. “I’m not going to do a virtual debate … I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That’s not what debating’s all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate, it’s ridiculous and then they cut you off whenever they want.”
Biden does appear to be ready to participate in a virtual debate. “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,” reads his campaign’s statement.
This decision comes after new protocols were put in place for the in-person vice presidential debate between incumbent VP Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, including plexiglass separating the participants.