The Commission on Presidential Debates announced early on Thursday that they were changing the format of the event to be virtual instead of in-person, due to President Donald Trump’s current fight against the coronavirus. Both candidates would be participating in the debate from different locations.
However, Trump stated just a few minutes after the announcement that he would not participate in a virtual debate against Joe Biden.
“The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations,” the commission said in a statement, according to CNN. “The town meeting participants and the moderator, Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer & Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks, will be located at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida. The White House Pool will provide coverage of the second presidential debate.”
Trump responded to the news on Fox Business minutes after the announcement, saying, “I’m not gonna do a virtual debate.”
“Well, I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn’t have a debate,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday. “I think we’re gonna have to follow very strict guidelines. Too many people have been infected and it’s a very serious problem.”
“And so I’ll be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic, and what the docs say is the right thing to do — if and when he shows up for debate,” he added.
Some folks might think this is just being childish, but there’s actually a really good reason for not participating in a virtual debate. The main reason is because President Trump is afraid that Biden might end up reading off answers to questions on a teleprompter. There have been sneaking suspicions that Biden has been doing this in question and answer sessions and during interviews and speeches for a while now.
Trump wants Biden to have to think off the cuff, mostly because there have been questions about the mental acuity of the former vice president. If he is having mental issues, he is unfit for the office, and Trump wants that put on full display for everyone to see.