Biden campaign commits to 3 general election debates

Biden campaign commits to 3 general election debates

Biden campaign commits to 3 general election debates

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s campaign said Monday that the presumptive Democratic nominee would commit to participating in three debates, and slammed a push by President Trump’s advisers for an additional debate as an “effort to change the subject.”

“Our position is straightforward and clear: Joe Biden will accept the Commission’s debates, on the Commission’s dates, under the Commission’s established format and the Commission’s independent choice of moderators,” said Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the non-profit group that sponsors general election debates, which was obtained by The Associated Press. “Donald Trump and Mike Pence should do the same.”

“Any ‘debate proposals’ in lieu of that are just an effort to change the subject, avoid debates, or create a distracting ‘debate about debates,’” she added.

The letter, which was first reported by The Washington Post, came in response to a request made by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to add another, earlier debate to the current schedule of three. They also proposed that each campaign have a role in selecting the debate moderators.

Trump’s team noted absentee and mail voting is being expanded because of the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed concern that some ballots — especially those by elderly voters most at risk to the virus — could be cast before the first debate. The first is scheduled for Sept. 29 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, the second on October 15 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and the third for a week later, Oct. 22, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

The seeming acceptance that a vast number of this year’s votes will be cast by mail marks a change for the campaign. Both Giuliani and Trump have criticized widespread mail voting and claimed without evidence that mail ballots are ripe for fraud.

In the Monday letter, O’Malley Dillon also pointed out that the Trump campaign’s request for more debates marked a shift from December, when advisers were threatening that Trump might skip the debates altogether.

That shift comes as Trump’s campaign has been seeking to paint Biden as mentally unsuited for the presidency, pointing to some of his verbal flubs on the campaign trail and lambasting the former vice-president for campaigning “from his basement” during the pandemic, as Trump hit the campaign trail for his first rally during the pandemic this past weekend.

Indeed, in a statement on the Biden campaign’s refusal to engage in additional debates, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh charged that his aides were “afraid” to send the Democrat out in unscripted situations, noting it’s been more than 80 days since Biden held a press conference.

“An earlier and longer debate schedule is necessary so Americans can see the clear difference between President Trump’s vibrant leadership and Biden’s confused meandering,” he said.

In the Monday letter, O’Malley also asked that the CPD confirm that it’s formulating safety plans to ensure that the debates will go on despite the coronavirus pandemic, and that the second debate be held in a town hall format, which would allow voters to ask questions of each candidate.

“The Trump campaign proposal for elaborate negotiations is merely an effort to dodge fair, even-handed debates,” O’Malley Dillon wrote.

Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press

Politics

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read