President Trump said Monday that he might bypass the “very biased” Commission on Presidential Debates when he locks horns with the Democratic nominee on stage next year.
The president said on Twitter that he will indeed debate his eventual opponent, refuting speculation that he might sit out the traditional debates. But he said as president, “the debates are up to me.”
“The problem is that the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates is stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “3 years ago they were forced to publicly apologize for modulating my microphone in the first debate against Crooked Hillary.”
He said that in 2020, “there are many options, including doing them directly & avoiding the nasty politics of this very biased Commission.”
“I will make a decision at an appropriate time but in the meantime, the Commission on Presidential Debates is NOT authorized to speak for me (or R’s)!” he said.
The first of Mr. Trump’s highly watched debates with Hillary Clinton in 2016 drew 84 million viewers. The debate Commission admitted later that the volume of Mr. Trump’s voice in the debate hall was marred, blaming it on an unspecified technical malfunction.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates was established in 1987 to hold general election debates for the presidency and vice presidency. It has sponsored all general election presidential debates since1988.
Mr. Trump also boycotted one of the Republican primary debates three years ago when Fox News selected host Megyn Kelly as the moderator.
The president said Monday that he’s not worried about debating the eventual Democratic nominee.
“I look very much forward to debating whoever the lucky person is who stumbles across the finish line in the little watched Do Nothing Democrat Debates,” he said. “My record is so good on the Economy and all else, including debating, that perhaps I would consider more than 3 debates.”