Biden campaign commits to 3 general election debates

Biden campaign commits to 3 general election debates

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s campaign said Monday that the presumptive Democratic nominee would commit to participating in three debates, and slammed a push by President Trump’s advisers for an additional debate as an “effort to change the subject.”

“Our position is straightforward and clear: Joe Biden will accept the Commission’s debates, on the Commission’s dates, under the Commission’s established format and the Commission’s independent choice of moderators,” said Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the non-profit group that sponsors general election debates, which was obtained by The Associated Press. “Donald Trump and Mike Pence should do the same.”

“Any ‘debate proposals’ in lieu of that are just an effort to change the subject, avoid debates, or create a distracting ‘debate about debates,’” she added.

The letter, which was first reported by The Washington Post, came in response to a request made by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to add another, earlier debate to the current schedule of three. They also proposed that each campaign have a role in selecting the debate moderators.

Trump’s team noted absentee and mail voting is being expanded because of the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed concern that some ballots — especially those by elderly voters most at risk to the virus — could be cast before the first debate. The first is scheduled for Sept. 29 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, the second on October 15 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and the third for a week later, Oct. 22, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

The seeming acceptance that a vast number of this year’s votes will be cast by mail marks a change for the campaign. Both Giuliani and Trump have criticized widespread mail voting and claimed without evidence that mail ballots are ripe for fraud.

In the Monday letter, O’Malley Dillon also pointed out that the Trump campaign’s request for more debates marked a shift from December, when advisers were threatening that Trump might skip the debates altogether.

That shift comes as Trump’s campaign has been seeking to paint Biden as mentally unsuited for the presidency, pointing to some of his verbal flubs on the campaign trail and lambasting the former vice-president for campaigning “from his basement” during the pandemic, as Trump hit the campaign trail for his first rally during the pandemic this past weekend.

Indeed, in a statement on the Biden campaign’s refusal to engage in additional debates, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh charged that his aides were “afraid” to send the Democrat out in unscripted situations, noting it’s been more than 80 days since Biden held a press conference.

“An earlier and longer debate schedule is necessary so Americans can see the clear difference between President Trump’s vibrant leadership and Biden’s confused meandering,” he said.

In the Monday letter, O’Malley also asked that the CPD confirm that it’s formulating safety plans to ensure that the debates will go on despite the coronavirus pandemic, and that the second debate be held in a town hall format, which would allow voters to ask questions of each candidate.

“The Trump campaign proposal for elaborate negotiations is merely an effort to dodge fair, even-handed debates,” O’Malley Dillon wrote.

Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press

politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Supreme Court dismisses Indigenous appeal of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear a new… Continue reading

Studies show no consistent evidence body cameras reduce police violence

A Calgary police officer loudly tells an Indigenous man to put his… Continue reading

Social media companies face revenue hit from boycotts

Verizon’s decision to join the growing boycott against Facebook and Twitter risks… Continue reading

Trade deficit narrowed in May as exports rose and imports fell again

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed in… Continue reading

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Michael Dawe: Canada Day festivities have been interfered with before

Because of the restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

Save-On-Foods stores donate to Red Deer Food Bank

Thanks to some hungry central Albertans, the Red Deer Food Bank is… Continue reading

A world of summer adventure awaits you at the library

There’s a ton of adventure available for you this summer. The Red… Continue reading

Opinion: Canada needs allies’ support in its dealings with China

Canadians are tying themselves in knots trying to fathom the China conundrum.… Continue reading

Canadians Desiree Scott, Nichelle Prince out of Challenge Cup for personal reasons

Desiree Scott has joined fellow Canadian international Nichelle Prince in dropping out… Continue reading

Nurse hopes to use platform to get American expats voting in US election

Nick Nurse wants to make sure Americans living outside the U.S. vote… Continue reading

Judge temporarily blocks tell-all book by Trump’s niece

Distribution of a tell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece was blocked… Continue reading

Massey Whiteknife embarks on a healing journey in ‘Queen of the Oil Patch’ S2

In the new season of the documentary/reality TV show “Queen of the… Continue reading

Most Read