The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the upcoming forum will feature the two candidates participating “from separate remote locations.”
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would not participate in the second televised debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden next week after the nonpartisan commission responsible for producing the forums announced that it will be conducted virtually.
“I’m not going to waste my time on virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about,” Trump said in an interview on Fox Business. “You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It’s ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want.”
The remarks from Trump came shortly after the Commission on Presidential Debates revealed Thursday morning that the town hall-style event on Oct. 15 would feature the two candidates participating “from separate remote locations.”
The town hall participants and moderator Steve Scully of C-SPAN will be located as planned at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, the commission said.
The shift to a virtual format comes as Trump continues treatment for Covid-19 at the White House, after being discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien reaffirmed the president’s position in a statement Thursday, saying Trump will “pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.”
Stepien claimed that Trump “will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate,” and insisted that the “safety of all involved can easily be achieved without canceling a chance for voters to see both candidates go head to head.”
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