President Donald Trump bid for reelection has been dealt a crippling blow by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The so-called bi-partisan commission has officially canceled the second debate, a town hall-style event that was scheduled for October 15.
“It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22,” the commission announced Friday, according to the Washington Examiner.
After Trump tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the status of the second debate was in jeopardy.
As the week progressed, even though the outlook for Trump was very promising, the commission decided to change the format to a virtual debate.
This change was made without so much as a phone call to either campaign, which infuriated Trump.
When the president was later asked about it, he stated that he would not waste his time on a virtual debate. “No, I’m not going to waste my time in a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do … and then they cut you off whenever they want,” Trump said Thursday on Fox News. Biden’s campaign then scheduled a town hall event that night.
Following failed negotiations to change the dates, Trump’s doctor has now estimated that the president will be able to make safe public appearances again by this weekend, which would allow a safe face-to-face debate on the 15th.
The debate commission, however, has canceled the second debate entirely.
Win-win for Biden
This decision was a huge win for Joe Biden, as he is leading in most national polls and does not need to risk a debate with the president.
Trump, however, needs as much exposure as possible.
Now, there will only be one more debate, which is scheduled to be held on October 22, 2020 and will be moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News — who, incidentally, appears to have made her Twitter account private following the Steve Scully debacle. This debate will not be a town hall, but will replicate the same format as the first debate between Trump and Biden.