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Commission Denies Trump Request to Move Debate, Giuliani Flames Biden in Return

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Commission Denies Trump Request to Move Debate, Giuliani Flames Biden in Return

2020-08-07 15:58:33

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Rudy Giuliani (Image source: Screenshot)

Political debates allow voters to see each side and make an educated decision on who they'll choose on Election Day. This holds for presidential debates as well. The 2020 presidential debate is a little different because there are two very distinct sides, although there are some who have not made up their mind yet, not happy with either candidate. Additionally, there is the coronavirus pandemic that is factoring in, and that is affecting the debate schedule.

Donald Trump does not feel the schedule favors him, so he would like to either add a fourth debate or move up one of the other debates. Mail-in voting ballots will have already been sent out to some voters, so he would like to be able to debate Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, before those mail-in ballots are shipped out. When the Commission on Presidential Debates refused his request, his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, stepped in to push the request and call out Biden.

Currently, the debates are scheduled for September 29 in Cleveland, October 15 in Miami, and October 22 in Nashville. Additionally, there will be a presidential debate between Mike Pence and Biden's running mate on October 7 in Salt Lake City. The dates and locations were already adjusted after a couple venues pulled out because of the pandemic.

The CPD turned down Trump's request to add a fourth date or move the last debate, noting the schedule would be "highly publicized." The Commission wrote in a statement, "If the candidates were to agree that they wished to add to that schedule, the Commission would consider that request but remains committed to the schedule of debates it has planned."

Giuliani responded by sending a letter to the CPD, insulting Biden. "Since your current refusal to consider an additional debate or an earlier date is based on Mr. Biden's unwillingness to agree, it would be logical to assume that any further changes to debate arrangements would hinge on his opinion," he wrote.

"We must insist on a commitment that the two candidates will definitely appear onstage, in person — whether in a television studio without an audience or elsewhere — and not through separate, online transmissions where Mr. Biden could rely on notes, teleprompter, or handlers."

The former New York City mayor further insulted the former vice president by copying him on the letter and listing his address in Delaware as "Basement."

Giuliani also called out the Commission's approach as outdated and "not reflective of voting realities in 2020."

"For a nation already deprived of a traditional campaign schedule because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, it makes no sense to also deprive so many Americans of the opportunity to see and hear the two competing visions for our country's future before millions of votes have been cast."

Giuliani requested a list of two dozen journalists "for consideration as moderators." The list, of course, was heavy on Fox News personalities.

"While more people will likely vote by mail in 2020, the debate schedule has been and will be highly publicized," wrote the nonpartisan Commission in its response. "Any voter who wishes to watch one or more debates before voting will be well aware of that opportunity."

The PDC also answered Giuliani's request for moderators by vowing it would take "great care, as always, to ensure that the selected moderators are qualified and fair."

"Joe Biden said in June that he looks forward to debating Donald Trump on the dates and in the locations chosen by the Presidential Commission on Debates," said a statement from Biden's campaign. "We are still waiting for Donald Trump to agree to as much."

Additionally, a Biden spokesman, TJ Ducklo, said, "We're glad that Donald Trump is now following Joe Biden's lead from June and — at long last — has accepted the commission's invitation to debate."

"As we have said for months, the commission will determine the dates and times of the debates, and Joe Biden will be there," he added. "Now that Donald Trump's transparent attempt to distract from his disastrous response to the virus is over, maybe now he can focus on saving American lives and getting our economy back on track." 

After Giuliani went to bat for him with the PCD, Trump tweeted, "How can voters be sending in ballots starting, in some cases, one month before the first presidential debate? Move the first debate up," he wrote. "A debate, to me, is a public service. Joe Biden and I owe it to the American people!"

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