Trump refuses to take part in virtual TV debate

Trump refuses to take part in virtual TV debate
The first debate descended into insults and interruptions. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: President Donald Trump has refused to take part in a virtual TV debate with his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The commission organising the presidential debate in Miami on 15 October had earlier said it would have to take place remotely.

The commission made the decision after Mr Trump was treated for Covid-19. Mr Trump said he would not waste his time on a move designed to “protect” his rival.

Mr Biden’s campaign said that President Trump was trying to evade accountability on his “failures on Covid and the economy”.

Both sides later appeared to agree on 22 October as a rescheduled date, although what form the debate would take is unclear.

The first presidential debate on 30 September had descended into interruptions and insults. The vice-presidential debate, held on Wednesday night between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence, was a far more measured affair.

The US election will be held on 3 November. The latest opinion polls suggest that the Democratic candidate Mr Biden has a high single digit lead nationally, but the outcome is often decided in battleground states where the races can be much closer.

On Tuesday, his comments during a phone-in interview with Fox Business Channel touched on a number of key matters, including his health and the possibility of movement towards a stimulus package for the economy.

But it was his comments on the debate format that drew most attention.

“I’m not gonna waste my time on a personal debate. Sit behind a computer, ridiculous. They cut you off… I’m not doing a virtual TV debate,” Mr Trump said.

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