Today, the Presidential Debate Commission made the announcement that the second Presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, will be a virtual debate in lieu of the original in person debate scheduled to be in Miami, Florida. The reason for this? Due to concerns over President Trump testing positive for the Coronavirus and a potential risk of infecting Joe Biden at the debate. Today on Fox Business, President Trump said that he is NOT going to participate in a virtual town hall and that he is “not going to waste my time. That’s not what debating’s all about, you sit behind a computer and do a debate, it’s ridiculous.”
The proposed plan was to have moderator Steve Scully still host the debate in person with the town hall participants at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami as planned and have each President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both participate from separate remote locations. The Trump campaign said they will hold a rally instead. The Biden campaign said they will now find an appropriate place to "take questions from voters directly" on Oct. 15th, in lieu of the debate. Now, can President Trump decline to debate and get away with it? Yes, he can. The head of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank Fahrenkopf said "there is no law requiring any presidential candidate to debate." The Biden campaign is now pushing for another town hall style debate to occur on October 22nd so that as they say Trump can't "evade accountability".
What do you make of this move by President Trump to decline a virtual debate? I'm okay with it and I'm inclined to agree with him that a debate should be in person. Now, I completely understand why the Biden campaign would want to go virtual as well and comply with that request because they don't want any potential risk of Joe Biden coming down with COVID despite the fact that Trump may be testing negative...there is a lot we're still learning about the virus and even though Trump is testing negative, who is to say he's not contagious. Rather safe than sorry I say. With that said though, I think the wisest course of action is a postponement of an in person debate. We need to see the physical energy of the two candidates in person, the body language, the quick back and forth without technological delays. I agree with Trump in him pushing it back or refusing to do a virtual debate. I think we need that in person debate and they should push it back to as soon as it's safe to conduct one in person. Just my thoughts, yours?