- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2020

President Trump’s campaign manager said Thursday that the second and third presidential debates should be pushed back one week, after Mr. Trump rejected a proposal to hold a virtual debate next week.

“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,” said campaign manager Bill Stepien. “Americans deserve to hear directly from both presidential candidates on these dates, October 22 and 29.”

Mr. Trump, who is recovering from COVID-19, said he won’t take part in a virtual debate proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates for Oct. 15. His campaign said he’ll hold a rally instead.

But Mr. Stepien said it is “extremely suspect” that the commission announced a new virtual format at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, “immediately after Vice President Mike Pence had just wiped the floor with Senator Kamala Harris” in their debate Wednesday night.

“Clearly the commission wanted to shift attention away from Pence’s complete victory,” Mr. Stepien said. “As President Trump said, a virtual debate is a non-starter and would clearly be a gift to Biden because he would be relying on his teleprompter from his basement bunker.”

He said, “Voters should have the opportunity to directly question Biden’s 47-year failed record of leadership. We agree that this should happen on October 22, and accordingly, the third debate should then be shifted back one week to October 29. The CPD and the media cannot hide Joe Biden forever.”

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