Joe Biden has rejected Donald Trump's proposal to reschedule the third 2020 Presidential debate. In a statement shared by Bloomberg, Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield stated how "Trump chose today to pull out of the October 15th debate," but that his "erratic behavior does not allow him to rewrite the calendar, and pick new dates of his choosing."
Bedingfield went on to say that the Biden campaign is looking forward to participating in the final debate, which is already scheduled for Oct. 22. The Trump campaign pulled out of the second, town-hall, style debate after the president was announced as having contracted COVID-19. Trump was hospitalized on Friday, and released to continue treatment at the White House on Monday. The Commission on Presidential Debates previously announced that "in order to protect the health and safety of all involved," the second debate would happen virtually, but Trump quickly rejected that plan.
President @realDonaldTrump Responding To News Of Virtual Debate
"No, I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That's not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer & do a debate, it's ridiculous."
"They're trying to protect Biden, everybody is." pic.twitter.com/PxwPfHBlIv— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) October 8, 2020
Both the Biden and Trump campaigns have said that the Commission on Presidential Debates made the virtual debate decision without consulting them first. However, Biden's team stated that he was prepared to accept the terms of a virtual debate, ahead of Trump's outright refusal. Biden's campaign intends to find an "appropriate place" for the former Vice President to take questions from voters, and is urging the commission to move the town-hall format to the 10/22 debate "so the President is not able to evade accountability."
Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien blasted the commission’s decision, claiming that it was rushing to Biden’s "defense by unilaterally canceling an in-person debate." He added, "President Trump will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate, so there is no need for this unilateral declaration. The safety of all involved can easily be achieved without canceling a chance for voters to see both candidates go head to head. We'll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.
"The CPD and the media cannot hide Joe Biden forever," Stepien said in a separate statement. "Americans deserve to hear directly from both presidential candidates on these dates, October 22 and 29." Biden has rejected this proposal.