Donald Trump is protesting how two of the three presidential debates between him and Hillary Clinton have been scheduled during NFL games this fall. And he is accusing the Democrats and Clinton of wanting it this way.
In a tweet, the Republican presidential candidate said he thinks his rival pushed the Commission on Presidential Debates to schedule the televised showdowns at times where many of his supporters, like working class white men, might be watching football instead.
“As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games,” Trump tweeted.
Trump also referenced the complaints from Clinton’s Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, that primary debates were scheduled during low viewership weekend nights. “Same as last time w/ Bernie,” Trump wrote. “Unacceptable!”
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
The first presidential debate is set for Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The second presidential debate is scheduled at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on Oct. 9. The third presidential debate is supposed to take place Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Falcons vs. the Saints are playing during the Monday night Hofstra University debate. The Giants vs. the Packers are playing during the Sunday night Washington University debate.
In a forthcoming interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Trump suggested he will continue to protest the scheduling: “Well, I’ll tell you what I don’t like. It’s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, ‘This is ridiculous. Why are the debates against’ — ’cause the NFL doesn’t wanna go against the debates. ‘Cause the debates are gonna be pretty massive, from what I understand, OK?”
Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL league office, said they never sent Trump a letter but agree that the debates should not be held during football games.
“While we’d obviously wish the Debate Commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Mr. Trump,” McCarthy said.