Biden will keep debating Trump, campaign says
Joe Biden will continue to debate President Trump, his campaign said late Tuesday, even as political operatives blasted what they called a “train wreck” between the pair in their first debate.
“I don’t know how many different ways we can say it. Yes, we are going to do the debates,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a post-debate call with reporters.
“I would imagine there will be some additional conversations [with the Commission on Presidential Debates]. But yeah, we are committing to attending the debates,” she said.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, also indicated during a CNN interview on Tuesday night that Biden planned to keep debating Trump.
Trump and Biden are scheduled for two more debates, on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.
“Joe Biden’s never going to refuse to talk to the American people,” Harris said when asked if Biden should continue participating in the debates.
Democrats widely objected to the frequent interruptions and barbs lobbed against Biden in Tuesday night’s debate with little interference from moderator Chris Wallace.
When Wallace interjected at one point and asked Trump to let Biden finish one of his answers, the former vice president replied: “He doesn’t know how to do that.”
Wallace at several moments raised his voice at Trump, seeking to get the president to stop speaking as Trump tried to cut into Biden’s time.
Some Biden allies said the Democratic nominee shouldn’t continue to participate in the upcoming debates if Trump doesn’t abide by the rules.
“I don’t think he should debate anymore,” one Biden ally said. “There’s just no reason to.”
Another ally agreed. “What the hell was that? That wasn’t a debate. That was one of the worst things I’ve seen in modern day politics.”
Robert Gibbs, a former White House press secretary under President Obama, said at the very least the Commission on Presidential Debates should “outline a plan for how this is going to work going forward including cutting off mics for interrupting.”
“2020 is far too important to have to more episodes of that,” Gibbs said. “Because that was not a debate.”
— Max Greenwood contributed.
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