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Trump: ‘I’m Not Going to Waste My Time at a Virtual Debate’ With Biden

Trump: ‘I’m Not Going to Waste My Time at a Virtual Debate’ With Biden

“The commission changed the debate style and that’s not acceptable to us.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced early this morning that the next debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will take place virtually.

Trump immediately slapped down the idea.

From Fox News:

The debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, “will take the form of a town meeting,” CPD organizers said. The announcement came less than a week after the president tested positive for COVID-19.

But, in his Fox Business interview, the president said he would not take part in a virtual debate.

“The commission changed the debate style and that’s not acceptable to us,” Trump said on “Mornings with Maria.” “I beat him in the first debate, I beat him easily.”

The president added that he expected to “beat him in the second debate also.”

“I’m not going to do a virtual debate,” Trump went on. “I’m not going to waste my time at a virtual debate.”

The president said he wasn’t going to “sit at a computer” to debate, calling it “ridiculous.”

“They’re trying to protect Biden,” Trump said. “Everybody is.”

The Biden campaign seemingly accepted the rules change early Thursday, with deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield saying: “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 that has thrown the strong economy he inherited into the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”


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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

He doesn’t need a debate to do that. He can tell us any old time. Maybe with Tweets—I’ve heard that some can get those to work pretty well.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to tom_swift. | October 8, 2020 at 9:12 am

    The change was a attempt to get Trump into a rigged debate, much like Internet comment sections, where moderators do all sorts of sleazy things to try ad make it look like there is overwhelming support for Dem, lib, Marxist ideas.

    Commentators were really taking challenging that agenda, so much so that most comment sections are now gone.

      “so much so that most comment sections are now gone”

      Yep. Not going their way, so change the rules.

        DaveGinOly in reply to pfg. | October 8, 2020 at 10:50 am

        E.g., there’s no “comments” section to this story on Fox News. Who is making decisions there to not allow comments on some stories, and why?

          SField in reply to DaveGinOly. | October 8, 2020 at 3:21 pm

          It’s funny how that works. I used to think it was glitch with my browser. Nope. Some stories on the FOX site have no comment section at all. Scroll down, and there’s nothing. Reload page, scroll down again, and zilch.

    SpeakUpNow in reply to tom_swift. | October 8, 2020 at 11:20 am

    So Joe blames Trump for the economic downturn and his solution to getting our economy. roaring back would be to hermetically seal all businesses to protect us from COVID and this would end the recession? That’s the question I’d ask if I was invited to the Town Hall Debate.

    Maybe he can tell us about packing the court.

MattLauersNob | October 8, 2020 at 8:43 am

Can the swamp get any more brazen trying to protect Creepy Uncle Joe?

Slow Joe can no longer climb the basement stairs…

Dementia Joe can’t debate live, his coaches and teleprompter can’t be hidden in live event.

Dems will claim that he’s afraid to face Biden, when in fact, they’re changing the rules at the last minute and he won’t go along with it.

Dealing with Dems is like playing a board game with a three year old, changing rules, making up new ones, and throwing a tantrum when they don’t win.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to windbag. | October 8, 2020 at 10:47 am

    You remind me of the days when my best friend (who, 65 years later, is still my best friend), would grab a deck – or two – of cards and proceed to play. We would badger each other with more or less constant changes of the most arcane rules a third grader could cook up.

    We had a lot of fun.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to windbag. | October 8, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I think it is called “Calvin rules”.

      CorkyAgain in reply to amatuerwrangler. | October 8, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      Playing by “Calvin rules” would be fun — but only if you’re playing with that rascal Calvin, who makes everything fun.

      With one of the Dems, not so much.

A thousand invisible spirits answering questions through the ether; maybe it was Joe’s answer, maybe not.

Grrr8 American | October 8, 2020 at 9:37 am

It’s SOOOO refreshing to have a Republican President who, confronting the Progressive machine, has some cajones!

    henrybowman in reply to Grrr8 American. | October 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    What we all need to remember is that the debate commission isn’t an even nominally independent commission… it’s a wholly-owned joint effort of the national committees of the two major national parties (which explains why the debate inclusion requirements grow arbitrarily as third parties strive to satisfy the previous set). The Dems and the GOPs nominally have equal representation. As in all other endeavors, this means that the Dems drive issues maniacally, while the GOPsters sit back and go with whatever the flow is.

Trump should just release a short video of his opening statement for the ‘Virtual Debate’, ending with a few pointed questions for Biden.

Tweet it out.

If Biden answers, the debate is on. (Even with writers and teleprompters, Biden’s not great. And Trump can keep asking him the hard questions that split swing voters from the Dem base.)

If Biden refuses, then it’s Biden who’s afraid to face Trump, even with writers and teleprompters from the safety of his basement.

Seems I had a misunderstanding about the debate commission. I thought the two parties *agreed* to the terms of a debate before it was scheduled. I had no idea they passed down their rules and regulations from upon high.

    henrybowman in reply to georgfelis. | October 8, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Technically, that’s how it happens. But to work, the swampers in the RNC would have to have Trump’s back, and they just can’t be bothered. They never could.

So disrespectful towards the President. It has been non stop since he came down the escalator and only gotten worse.

He has given so much to America…

We don’t deserve him…

    hopeful in reply to gonzotx. | October 8, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Hey, gonzotx. Who you mean “we”, whiteyes?

    I say I deserve him because I enjoy his droll humor, because I voted for him, because I pray for him and pray for the bad guys to be caught in their own traps. Because I love this country, MY country, and he is defending it. Because he doesn’t show off how hip and energetic he is by trying to run up and down stairs. Because the left lies and destroys and he will thwart them.

“And now, PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, proudly bring you the Presidential Debate”

Without the President!

Time to scrap the commission and replace it with something that actually allows both parties to debate each other without the need for moderators (heavily biased already) to get involved.

    bhwms in reply to mailman. | October 8, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Something like this:
    – 5 minute opening statements
    – Four total Alternating 10 minute segments where the candidate controls the time. He can ask his opponent questions, but he can also just talk if he wants.
    – Two 10 minute segments of Q & A
    – 5 minute closing statements

    Moderator is a time keeper, and makes sure the one controlling the time has the time. They run the coin toss at the beginning to determine who goes first. Does not ask questions, does not fact check. A High School Debate Coach would be best for this.

These “debates” are a waste of time anyway. Who appointed this “Debate Commission”; the DemoKKKRATS? What a farce. I’d rather see President Trump in a rousing rally in a “swing state” anyway.

    hrhdhd in reply to oldscribe. | October 8, 2020 at 11:32 am

    The Debate Commission is supposedly non-partisan. Which means all democrats, except one republican.

      CorkyAgain in reply to hrhdhd. | October 8, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      By this time it’s almost a trite observation that when Dems talk about being “non-partisan”, they’re not using the word to mean what you think it means.

      They mean letting them get away with whatever they want.

      ray in reply to hrhdhd. | October 8, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      All Donks and maybe a Never-Trumper RINO.

      henrybowman in reply to hrhdhd. | October 8, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      “Bi”partisan, at least in theory.
      Nothing even resembling “non”partisan.

Terence G. Gain | October 8, 2020 at 11:08 am

President Trump will reverse himself. If he doesn’t, then he might as well concede the election. If I was Mike Pence I would be totally p*ssed. His very fine effort has now been shoved aside for this BS. This is another unforced error like refusing to acknowledge that if he loses the election then of course he will leave the White House.The media is deranged, but President Trump isn’t doing himself any favors.

This election shouldn’t even be close. President Trump is a force of nature whose policydecisions have been excellent, but his lack of discipline is not only making the election close, he may lose. This will be a disaster for America. And for Canada

    Don’t forget about the timing of debate commission, the very morning after pence sliced up harris, the commission decides to become the story by changing the format. all the media attention from last night gets diverted to this story,
    trump’s immediate and justified reaction now overshadows both pence and the commission.

    somebody needs to get scully on the record and ask him if he had any input into this call, we all know that scully and biden once had an employer / employee relationship.

    I am not sure that this was an unforced error. The rules changed; that wasn’t Trump’s fault, and the change clearly benefits Biden.

      Terence G. Gain in reply to hrhdhd. | October 8, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      President Trump is behind. He therefore has no choice but to debate. If he doesn’t the media will have a field day saying that after the first debate debacle, of course he was looking for any excuse not to debate again. And public will buy that narrative.

      President Trump has no leverage with the debate Commission. They are opposed to him. They have no incentive to back down. President Trump will therefore agree to their terms and will try to spin his decision. This will not help him. This is clearly an unforced error.

        Your concern for Trumps “error” is quite touching. You always have leverage when you’re willing to walk away. Trump knows this. And FYI, he is the opposite of impulsive. Quite calculating, I’d say.

        And he did this successfully once before in 2016.

        henrybowman in reply to Terence G. Gain. | October 8, 2020 at 3:47 pm

        President Trump is behind? Yes, that’s the “narrative,” isn’t it? He was “way behind” last time, too, which is the year he won.

        With respect (especially since you appear to be Canadian), Trump does indeed have a choice, which he made and I support. The CPD is not supposed to dictate format but to suggest a format which both sides can agree to support. Both campaigns are supposed to agree. The CPD is attempting to unilaterally push Trump into an unfavorable tactical position after the two parties had previously agreed on a format. Trump may be many things but one characteristic which is fundamental to him and which is rare in a public official and beneficial to the nation is his absolute refusal to be bullied. This is different than stubbornness. If he caves in and meekly accepts what the CPD is trying to push him into he will lose far more than he will gain.The CPD should have privately asked each campaign whether they would agree and if they got one “no” they should have dropped the subject.

Typical PR firm jibberish

October 8, 2020

Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2020) – In order to protect the health and safety of all involved with the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15, 2020, The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced the following today:

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations. 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.

Look, the anti-Trump forces have been trying to find a way to keep Biden out of a debate since he was nominated. They couldn’t, without making him look like a weak loser. So, the first debate was a set-up. They got the notorious swamp dwelling “newsman, Chris Wallace, as moderator and set it up allow Biden to make outrageous claims about Trump while dodging any questions that he did not wish to answer. But, Trump went rogue and began questioning Biden himself. Biden could not dodge the questions, only refuse to answer them. This was revealing in its own right. And, even with the probable use of audio communications, Biden drifted when he had to formulate an answer on the fly. So, what to do?

Hold a virtual debate, where Joe can be fed his lines via teleprompter and doesn’t have to directly interact with his opponent. It also opens the door to various technical glitches and gives “moderators” direct control over Trump’s audio and video.

There is really no need for debate, except to make Biden look weak and unnecessary. His published plans are either existing radical liberal programs or exactly what the Trump administration is doing. With archived video, we know that in just the last few months, he was against fracking, before he was for it, He was going to raise everyone’s taxes, before he was only going to raise those of the “rich”. He was going to give free health care and COVID relief to illegal aliens, before he was not, maybe. He was all for allowing manufacturing to be outsourced and workers could learn to code, now he wants to emulate Trump and bring manufacturing back to the US. We have to get back into the Paris Accords, because… well, because. And, the list goes on.

Trump, on the other hand has real world accomplishments to point to. And, most of them [those that he could accomplish without the help of the swamp dwelling Congress] were promises he made in his campaign. We know where he stands on virtually every issue. Unlike Biden, we do not have to guess where he stands on any given issue at this moment and how long he will hold that position.

Regardless of the “polls”, the Biden camp is desperate.

    hopeful in reply to Mac45. | October 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Hit the nail o the head Mac. Worth a thousand upvote4s if I could give them.

    randian in reply to Mac45. | October 8, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    I think “glitches” would more likely be used to cover for Biden than cut off Trump, though of course they can do both. What Trump can’t control, and I’m surprised it isn’t being aggressively used this campaign season, is broadcast delay. Give them a 30-second delay like the NFL uses to prevent accidental breast displays during live halftime shows and they can manufacture any debate they like.

How do they get to decide the rules in the debate without asking each side to agree to it?

Trump should be a little more forceful on this issue. This is an attempt to make Trump pull out of the debate to look weak against Biden.

Connivin Caniff | October 8, 2020 at 11:30 am

Good. That will give him an opportunity to take some lessons from Pence on how to prepare for a debate with some actual hard work, if he can get over his self-inflated opinion of his debate abilities, which in fact are just about non-existent. Boy, Trump was bad. (Biden was equally bad, in his own way.)

    You fail to understand that the society has changed.

    Debating used to be the intellectual battle of ideas. The rules were designed to allow the participants to do this in civil manner and a neutral moderator was to enforce the rules. That changed. Civility went the way of the Dodo. First, the moderators began to inject themselves into the debate by asking “probing” questions of the participants, rather than being merely referees. Then the inherent bias of these moderators began to creep into the debate. It became so bad that they actually took sides in the debate, steering gotcha questions to those participant they did not favor while throwing softball questions at those they did favor and even allowing them to not answer questions they did not like, without comment. In the first debate, Chris Wallace only pressed Biden on one non-answer and only once. He conducted his own 3 minute debate with Trump and pressed him on his actual answers. Now, the out-of-favor participant has no choice but to usurp the current moderator’s role and directly question his opponent and demand an answer or a direct refusal to answer.

    Remember the reaction to Mohammad Ali’s ropa-a-dope strategy against George Foreman? many people found ot controversial, in that Ali did not take the fight to Foreman, a stronger fighter. Until then, boxers were expected to aggressively engage their opponent, not lay back wage a defensive fight. Well, that is what Trump did in the Clash in Cleveland. He went against the preconceived idea of what constituted good debate tactics and ran a reverse rope-a-dope on Biden and Wallace. Most traditionalist thought Trump lost the debate. But, in fact he won on points. He defended his record and his vision for the future, undermined Biden’s claims on his [Biden’s] positions and made him categorically refuse to answer certain questions on important issues. Trump played to HIS strengths. He roared like a lion and punched like a gorilla. He is the Mohammad Ali of modern politics.

You know you are doing something right when the Left wants to change the rules in the middle of the game.

    henrybowman in reply to rightway. | October 8, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    No you don’t know that at all. The left changes rules in the middle of the game the same way they breathe. You can go to sleep one night and wake up the next day to find the left changed the rules while you were totally inactive.

I think Trump should announce that he will show at any ion person debate. That if they want to do zoom, this is too important and he will not do it vitually. If it can’t be worked out then the day after the debate Trump will have a “call in” town hall with Joe Rogan, arranged with safety in mind. If Biden wants to show up then it turns into a debate.

If the roles were reversed, if Biden had been saying, “C’mon, man, let’s get out there in public and man up,” and Trump were saying, “No, I got sick and I don’t want to risk getting sicker,” the press would be all over it declaring Trump to have conceded that he is unfit from a health perspective to hold the office. Trump does have a valid point that there is a more electric dynamic to having two people in the same room even if it’s a town hall format, than to have them facing each other on screens, and “the science” does not say that this is a bad idea.

I wonder how Biden would react if Trump answers, OK to a remote debate on two conditions:

1. Each candidate is allowed to have a proctor in the other’s room to make sure that the other is not consulting databanks, computers, advisers or handlers. Biden and the mainstream media, of course, would dismiss that as Trump paranoia the same way they dismissed his suggestion that Biden’s ears be checked or that he have a drug test, but if Biden rejects proctoring of the kind routinely done in universities that is not intrusive physcally, he’ll look like the old cheating plagiarist trying to get away with something.

2. Since Biden is the one insisting that the science says that it is unsafe to be in the same room, Biden has to promise that between now and election day he will hold no rallies or meetings with anyone, other than remotely from a room in his house. Biden, of course, will never agree to that, and even the biased media will not be able to come up with an explanation of why Biden can go to campaign events with people but can’t sit in a room with Trump and a moderator.

    buck61 in reply to RRRR. | October 8, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    They’ll go the China route and lose the signal when Trump speaks then blame it on a technical problem.

They are trying to exploit Trump’s case of the coronavirus to say that he’s contagious; but the truth is that Trump is one of the safest people in the world once he has two negative tests. He, like Judge Barrett, who also recovered recently, will be unable to catch or spread the virus.

Debate Commission, we don’t need no stinkin debate commission. Haven’t seen one member on tv defend their decision. Nothing on twitter, a very bland statement on their website, no information on who made the decision, what information was used.
maybe they just need to go away

Jane Harman is on the debate commission, she is also a frequent guest on Fox News shows, especially Wallace’s show. I haven’t watched the entire day, but why haven’t they had her on tv today to explain the commission decision.
Seems like a reasonable request and a relevant person to interview today.

The reason they changed the format is so they could turn Trump’s mic off. We already know they want to do this. In a regular in-person debate, if they cut his mike off, you’d be able to still see Trump speaking. But in a virtual debate, they can easily silence and edit Trump out of the picture.

I think we should use the Joe Biden standard for debates, and we would use his debate with Paul Ryan, constantly interrupting him, as the guideline.

    randian in reply to Sally MJ. | October 8, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    They don’t need it to be virtual to do that, they only need a 30-second or so broadcast delay. That gives plenty of time to cut off Trump or edit out a Biden gaffe.