Donald Trump announced that he will not be participating in the second Presidential debate with Joe Biden after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced it will be held virtually due to the growing COVID-19 outbreak in and around the White House. Trump, recently out of the hospital due to complications from the illness, has yet to produce any evidence that he has tested negative. Dozens of other high ranking White House and Administration officials who have come into close contact with Donald Trump have also tested positive in recent days. If Trump refuses to participate then the Commission said there will be no debate.
Trump's campaign manager later said that they are willing to push the debates back by one week, but the campaigns have no say in when, where, or how a debate will be held. That is up to the Commission on Presidential Debates, whose chief Frank Fahrenkopf said they did not consult either campaign and instead relied on guidance from the Cleveland Clinic. He went on to say “the ball’s in [Trump's] court. It’s his call. We have to take it the way it comes.”
After over three-and-a-half years of the Trump Administration, I can't help but to take Trump's boycott threat with a grain of salt. He needs this debate a heck of a lot more than Biden and he knows it. I think he's more upset that he can't force the Commission to bend to his will than anything else. He's not used to anyone telling him no. So, I think there's a better than 50-50 chance he participates in the second debate.
I'm interested to hear what other people think about the Commission's decision to hold the second debate virtually. Do you agree with their decision, or do you think Donald Trump has a valid excuse to be upset and threaten to boycott?
Honestly I'm surprised all the debates weren't virtual from the beginning. Just from an abundance of caution. I don't have a problem with in-person debates, like the way they did it for the first one. But makes total sense once Trump tested positive to be cautious and go this route.
Since the second debate isn't happening now, I don't know how much that really effects either candidate. To me, the first debate was a disaster. And turned a lot of people off. So Im guessing many Americans might have skipped the second debate anyways, and maybe just watched the highlights, knowing that yet another debate was just around the corner.
The third debate I think is pretty important. Its their last chance to make their case and has high potential for fireworks and honestly, desperation. Could be even more wheels off. So as long as there is one more, I don't think it really effects much to cancel the middle one.