Trump Looks Scared to Debate
As the third and final presidential debate gets closer, the more nervous the Trump campaign is getting. Over the weekend the campaign’s media arms of the New York Post and Fox News ran identical stories trying to impugn the integrity of NBC News’s Kristen Welker, who will moderate.
This afternoon Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien wrote to the Commission on Presidential Debates pleading with it to change the debate topics to better suit the president’s preferences. Welker has announced that she will question both Trump and Joe Biden about COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership. Stepien’s letter says that while those topics are “worthy of discussion, only a few of them even touch on foreign policy” and “all of them were discussed at length during the first debate won by President Trump over moderator Chris Wallace and candidate Joe Biden.” Stepien’s letter doesn’t cite a source for declaring that Trump won the first debate, nor how exactly he was in competition with Wallace.
Our letter to the BDC (Biden Debate Commission) pic.twitter.com/ZsY5JfMbT7
— BillStepien (@BillStepien) October 19, 2020
The Trump campaign’s insistence on a foreign policy focus seems to be an attempt to give Trump the opening to bring up the Murdoch media machine made-up Hunter Biden narrative.
The letter also objects to the prospect of the commission “granting an unnamed person the ability to shut off a candidate’s microphone.” After Trump’s incessant interrupting of Biden and Wallace during the first debate the commission had indicated it was considering such a move for subsequent debates to prevent Trump from dominating the event.
Some observers wondered if Trump’s campaign is trying to lay the foundation for Trump pulling out of the debate at the last minute. Nate Silver of the group 538 tweeted: “Trump historically loses ground following debates and his messaging has been even more erratic than usual lately. It’s not clear that Stepien wants him debating.”
Like, if this is what's coming out of Trump these days, it's not clear that Stepien wants him debating, especially if he could also impact downballot races.https://t.co/v192EZ8F7o
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 19, 2020
The debate will be held Thursday, Oct. 22, at Belmont University in Nashville.