Biden Advisers Question Whether It’s Worth Participating In Final Debate With Trump
Following President Donald Trump‘s COVID hospitalization last week, the Commission on Presidential Debates made several decisions on the schedule of the two upcoming October debates. They initially decided to make the second debate, which was supposed to be held October 15, virtual, following Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s request that he not debate the president in person out of concern for coronavirus exposure. The president refused to debate in a virtual setting, and then later requested the debates be pushed back by one week so that they could remain in person. This would make the third debate only three days before Election Day, which the Biden campaign then refused to accept.
Biden will now be holding a solo town hall on Thursday on ABC. Trump will appear in a dueling townhall on NBC and MSNBC at the same time.
Despite a debate still being scheduled for Oct. 22, some advisers close to the Biden campaign are questioning if he should continue to debate Trump at all.
Others disagree, believing that Trump’s performance in the first debate was catastrophic, and a repeat of that behavior could be a huge boost in the polls for Biden.
“The key is for him to be seen and heard. The best offense is a good offense… sitting on leads usually backfires,” said John Morgan, a top Biden supporter and fundraiser in Florida, told Politico. “The more people see Joe and compare and contrast the better.”
The Biden campaign has continued to commit to participating in every debate allowed by the Commission on Presidential Debates, and because the only one scheduled is the final debate on October 22, Biden has committed to being there to fight his opponent.
“Vice President Biden looks forward to making his case to the American people about how to overcome this pandemic, restore American leadership and our alliances in the world, and bring the American people together,” said the Biden Campaign’s director of rapid response, Andrew Bates. “Everyone knows that Donald Trump likes to bully reporters, but obviously he doesn’t have the guts to answer for his record to voters at the same time as Vice President Biden.”