Social media is reeling after President Donald Trump said he would not participate in the upcoming virtual presidential debate against Joe Biden, calling the event "ridiculous" and a waste of time. In an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo on Thursday morning, he said, "I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. It's not what debating is all about. It's ridiculous."
Trump's comments came just minutes after the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that Trump and Biden would appear remotely for a virtual debate after Trump tested positive for the coronavirus last week. The Oct. 15 debate is set to be held in a town hall format with its participants and moderator based in Miami, Florida — where the event was initially going to take place — but with Biden and Trump in "separate remote locations."
While Trump said he would not participate, the Biden campaign signaled in a statement that the former vice president would take part in the event and "looks forward to speaking directly to the American people." When asked earlier this week about the safety of the debate considering Trump's COVID-19 infection, Biden said Tuesday that "we shouldn't have a debate." Trump repeatedly expressed the desire to debate Biden in Miami as scheduled. Social media was flooded with reactions to the turn of events Thursday morning. Here are some highlights.
Trump virtually dialed into Fox Business to say he won't do a virtual debate because the moderator can cut him off whenever pic.twitter.com/SgldqSVi0z— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) October 8, 2020
The way to handle this is let Biden debate an empty chair or the moderator could simply read Trump.’s tweets or webpage in response to any questions. https://t.co/zgGHwCPUkp— Derek 'Vote Early' Cressman (@DerekCressman) October 8, 2020
A glorified zoom call is not a debate & it’s an insufficient platform for electing the leader of the free world. America deserves 3 in person debates.
If the Commission's decision is really about concern over Trump's positive Covid test, then why not just push the date back?— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) October 8, 2020
.@JoeBiden should show up for the virtual debate even if Trump is a no-show. Free air time. Why not?— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) October 8, 2020
Pence did such a good job in last night's debate that Trump can cancel the rest of his debates and let Pence's answers stand. Now THAT'S a win.— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) October 8, 2020