Debate commission formally cancels Oct. 15 forum between Trump, Biden

Jennifer Epstein

The Commission on Public Debates has officially canceled the town hall style debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden scheduled for Oct. 15.

The cancellation of the forum is a formality, given that both Biden and Trump have already said they wouldn’t attend and made alternative plans.

President Donald Trump, left, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaking during the first presidential debate with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, center, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.

“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 said in a statement. “Subject to health security considerations, and in accordance with all required testing, masking, social distancing and other protocols, the debate will take place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.”

The debate was to be in Miami moderated by C-SPAN’s Steve Scully. The CPD had said the debate would be done remotely, but the Trump campaign rejected that idea, demanding that it be held in-person. “No I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” Trump said in a telephone interview with Fox Business Thursday. “That’s not what debating’s about.”

Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said it was “shameful” that Trump backed out of the only town hall style debate of the three planned meetings.

“Everyone knows that Donald Trump likes to bully reporters, but obviously he doesn’t have the guts to answer for his record to voters at the same time as Vice President Biden,” he said.

2020 Bloomberg L.P.