Washington, Oct. 8 (Prensa Latina) Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign manager announced today that he will not participate in the upcoming debate either after U.S. President Donald Trump’s refusal to do so.
Instead, according to statements by Biden’s campaign communications director, Kate Bedingfield, he posed the variant of answering questions from voters in an Internet exchange.
The reaction of Barack Obama’s former vice president implies that the second presidential debate, scheduled for next Thursday in Miami, is suspended with all probability, given the resignation of both candidates to participate.
Trump announced that he will not attend the confrontation if it is held in a virtual format, shortly after the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) affirmed that he had decided to opt for that route due to the recent diagnosis of Covid-19 of the U.S. president and the uncertainties surrounding his state of health.
That means that the two candidates will have separate events on the night the debate was scheduled to take place, since the Trump campaign announced that it will hold a public meeting that day.
The Miami meeting was not going to be a classic face-to-face between the two; it was expected that undecided voters – and not a moderator – would ask the questions of the two contenders.
Bedingfield argued that if Trump refused to participate in a virtual format of that debate it is because ‘he does not want to answer the questions of the voters about his failures regarding the Covid-19 and the economy’.
We hope that the Debate Commission will move the meeting with Trump and Biden voters to October 22nd, so that the president cannot avoid that accountability,’ he said.
Voters should have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the two candidates, Bedingfield said, noting that all presidential candidates since 1992 have submitted to that format.
October 22 is when the third and final debate between Trump and Biden was scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
It is unclear whether Biden’s campaign request will simply mean that the format of the third debate will be changed to include voter questions, or whether the Nashville meeting will be canceled or postponed so that the candidates can participate that night in a face-to-face in Miami.
Trump insisted this Thursday, only one week after testing positive for Covid-19, that it is no longer “contagious,” even though that has not been proven.
He also accused the DPC of trying to “protect” Biden with its decision to turn the debate into a virtual one. PL