The Debates Commission announced late Friday that the second Presidential Debate, which was scheduled for Tuesday night, has been canceled in the wake of Donald Trump’s refusal to appear in a remotely distanced debate instead of in person. Joe Biden will still appear on television Tuesday night in a previously announced Town Hall event hosted by ABC News, with George Stephanopolous hosting.
The cancellation comes after a very heated and confusing 48 hours of back-and-forth between the Biden and Trump camps over just how the two candidates should meet, and when. The Trump campaign issued three different statements on Thursday that slammed the debates commission. They pushed the Biden campaign to agree to an in-person debate, and said they would be willing to push the October 15 debate back a week to October 22 and then move the third debate to October 29, just days before the November 3 election.
But Biden’s campaign rejected their suggestions, with campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield saying in response, “Donald Trump doesn’t make the debate schedule; the debate commission does.”
The next debate between Biden and Trump is canceled, a source tells CNN. The move comes after Trump refused to participate virtually. https://t.co/A8dPdw1zJe
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 9, 2020
The Trump campaign has argued that since Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, has cleared him for travel, the debate should be held in its original in-person setting.
“There is therefore no medical reason why the Commission on Presidential Debates should shift the debate to a virtual setting, postpone it, or otherwise alter it in any way,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. Ironically, Stepien himself has tested positive for the coronavirus, along with many other Trump associates and staff.
Trump is now in talks to do a town hall with NBC on Thursday in lieu of the debate, but nothing has been finalized as of yet.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.