This morning, the commission that organizes the presidential debates announced that the next one between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, which wasn’t happening for another week, will be virtual. This was apparently done without consultation of Trump or his campaign, and he’s not happy about it.
While speaking to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, the President announced that he’s not participating in a sham virtual debate.
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) October 8, 2020
Now: Trump tells @MariaBartiromo that he won’t be wasting his time with a virtual debate.
Apparently the debate commission didn’t contact either candidate before changing the format to virtual.
— Ellie Bufkin (@ellie_bufkin) October 8, 2020
There is no reason to make that next debate virtual. If we are going to constantly virtue signal about science, Trump has already tested positive for antibodies. He will almost certainly have immunity and an inability to spread the disease by the time the next debate is set to kick off. There is no greater danger to Biden or anyone else next week than there was last week.
But we all know why they are doing this. It’s not a coincidence that this announcement was made after Mike Pence managed to make Kamala Harris look more unlikable than Hillary Clinton last night. This is wagon circling.
Here’s the full statement from Trump.
Oh my… pic.twitter.com/JDjYgE9Hda
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) October 8, 2020
It’s also completely inexcusable that this decision would be made without consulting the campaigns about it. And while there’s no doubt Joe Biden will love this move, the Trump campaign should have had a chance to voice their displeasure. These kinds of decisions are supposed to only be settled by agreement from both sides.
Trump is doing the right thing by saying enough is enough with this. As I said after the last debate, Republicans need to stop playing the game if the other side, including the commission itself, isn’t going to play fair. It is not fair to have nothing but liberal Democrats always moderate these things. It is not fair to announce a “virtual debate” that greatly benefits the guy who needs a teleprompter to do a basic interview without even letting Trump know.
Trump should instead ramp up his campaigning and spend that night talking directly to voters. Don’t give the media, this commission, or Biden what they want. They don’t deserve one ounce of deference, and I’m not convinced these debates were going to do anything but hurt Trump anyway. Now, he has a perfectly good reason to tell them to jump in a lake.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)