US election 2020: Biden rejects Trump’s calls to push back final two debates by a week | US News

Donald Trump’s campaign has proposed pushing back the final two presidential debates with Joe Biden by one week.

Earlier, the US president said he would refuse to take part in a virtual debate on 15 October that organisers were planning in response to his coronavirus diagnosis.

In a statement, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien suggested that in-person debates should be held on 22 and 29 October instead.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

No movement of dates for Biden

He added: “As President Trump said, a virtual debate is a non-starter and would clearly be a gift to Biden because he would be relying on his teleprompter from his basement bunker.

“Voters should have the opportunity to directly question Biden’s 47-year failed record of leadership.”

:: Subscribe to Divided States on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Spreaker

But Joe Biden’s campaign said Mr Trump “doesn’t make the debate schedule” and he should stick to it.

“Trump’s erratic behaviour does not allow him to rewrite the calendar, and pick new dates of his choosing,” his communications director Kate Bedingfield said.

“We look forward to participating in the final debate, scheduled for 22 October, which already is tied for the latest debate date in 40 years. Donald Trump can show up, or he can decline again. That’s his choice.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Trump ‘won’t waste time’ on virtual debate

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a non-partisan committee that has organised all presidential debates since 1988, had proposed altering the second TV clash between the Republican and Democrat candidates.

It was originally meant to be a “town hall” style event, with the two men facing questions drawn half from a group of undecided voters in the hall itself and the rest from social media.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights from Pence vs Harris debate

But the organisers said the debate should be moved online instead to “protect the health and safety of all involved”, given Mr Trump got his positive coronavirus test seven days ago – last Thursday evening.

In that time, the US president has been in and out of hospital.

Vice President Mike Pence and Mr Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris also faced off in a TV debate last night, but were separated by clear plastic screens.

Sky News