Biden campaign rebukes Trump effort to push for more debates
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign on Thursday rejected reported plans by President Trump’s reelection campaign to push for scheduling further presidential debates between the two.
Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager and communications director for the Biden campaign said that now that Trump is dipping in the polls, he wants to refocus attention on his campaign for additional debates.
“Six months after announcing he did not want to debate, Donald Trump — now trailing in the polls — wants to change the subject from his failed leadership, and launch a ‘campaign’ for many debates. But there’s a catch: he’ll only do it if he can pick the moderators,” Bedingfield said in a statement.
Biden campaign’s @kbeds declines the new Trump request for more debates, after he’d previously threatened not to attend any debates, saying Biden will abide by @debates rules. “We are not going to ride the roller coaster of the ever-changing Trump campaign position on debates.” pic.twitter.com/IELNZjajBY
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 18, 2020
Recent polling has shown that Biden is continuing to move up in the polls further ahead of Trump as the two move toward the November election.
A Fox News poll released Thursday showed that Biden leads Trump by 12 points nationally. The newest poll comes as many Americans expressed concern about the way the president handled the protests demonstrating against the police killing of George Floyd.
Bedingfield continued, saying that the former vice president’s campaign would not “ride the roller coaster” of Trump’s “ever-changing” position of debates, but rather, participate in the events that have already been officially scheduled.
“We will make this simple: like every other Democratic and Republican candidate since 1992, we will show up for the debates set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, at the places they have selected, on the dates they have selected, with the formats and moderators they designate — so long as Donald Trump does the same, and does not intimidate the Commission into changes from past practices,” she said.
The Trump campaign confirmed to The Hill on Thursday that it has drafted the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to push for further debates beyond the planned three between Trump and Biden and a single debate between Vice President Pence and Biden’s vice presidential nominee.
The Trump campaign has reportedly seized on the idea that Biden will be more likely to commit damaging gaffes the more he remains in the spotlight. The campaign is also reportedly seeking more of a say in the selection of moderators and wants the debates to be scheduled in a way that avoids conflicts with NFL games.