(WASHINGTON) Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will take part in a Town Hall event and answer questions from voters on Oct. 15 instead of participating in the second presidential debate, Biden’s campaign team announced Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, Biden rejected President Donald Trump is request to push back the second and third debates one week, according to Biden’s campaign spokesperson Kate Bedingfield.
“Trump’s erratic behavior does not allow him to rewrite the calendar, and pick new dates of his choosing,” Bedingfield said in a statement. “We look forward to participating in the final debate, scheduled for October 22, which already is tied for the latest debate date in 40 years.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday morning that the debate will be held virtually, and Trump quickly refused to participate.
“I’m not going to do a virtual debate,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Channel. “I’m not going to waste my time with a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate, that is ridiculous.”
Biden said he will not participate in the virtual debate and will instead find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly, Bedingfield said Thursday.
“ Joe Biden was prepared to accept the CPD’s proposal for a virtual Town Hall, but the President has refused, as Donald Trump clearly does not want to face questions from the voters about his failures on COVID and the economy,” Bedingfield said. “As a result, Joe Biden will find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly on October 15th, as he has done on several occasions in recent weeks.”
Bedingfield also called upon the CPD to move the Town Hall debate to Oct. 22, so the president “is not able to evade accountability.”
Trump said the commission was trying to protect Biden, whose campaign originally indicated that it would take part in a virtual debate.
“The American people should not be deprived of the chance to see the two candidates for president debate face to face two more times just because the Commission on Presidential Debates wants to protect Joe Biden, ” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.
Trump’s campaign also said the third debate should be moved from Oct. 22 to Oct. 29.
Organizers made the change “to protect the health and safety of all involved” after Trump and the first lady have been treated for COVID-19 since testing positive on Friday.