The Commission on Presidential Debates cancelled the second presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
The Commission announced on Thursday that the October 15 debate would be virtual “to protect the health and safety of all involved.”
What followed was hours of back and forth between the Trump and Biden campaigns which left the fate of the debate in limbo.
Donald Trump declared that he would not ‘waste his time’ by participating in a virtual debate with Joe Biden. A Biden spokeswoman then said they would have agreed to a virtual format for next Thursday’s contest, but because the President had seemingly bailed, they would book another format for the former vice president to take questions.
ABC News later announced they would be hosting a town hall with Biden in lieu of the debate.
The Trump campaign also demanded that the dates be changed even though both campaigns already agreed on the dates since June.
The Biden campaign pushed back: “Trump’s erratic behavior does not allow him to rewrite the calendar, and pick new dates of his choosing,” Biden campaign manager Kate Beddingfield said in a statement.
The Trump campaign later argued that there’s no need to host a virtual debate since Trump’s doctor cleared him to resume normal activities by this Saturday.
Trump needed this. Biden has no particular reason to debate Trump right now. He’s ahead in the polls by 10 points. With the debate cancelled Trump lost the opportunity to try and convince those voters on the fence who may tune in for a debate but not for a Trump rally.