President Donald Trump’s campaign has requested four live debates against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the New York Times reported Friday.
The four debates would be one more debate than nominees of both parties typically have before the general election. The Trump campaign is arguing that a first, earlier debate is necessary as coronavirus might prompt people into voting early, the Times reported. Both campaigns are currently negotiating with the Commission of Presidential Debates (CPD). (RELATED: ‘They’re Not Ted Cruz’: Trump Rips Dem Primary Debates)
“We want fair debates. We want them sooner and we want a bigger schedule. We also don’t want them up against football games competing for viewers. As many Americans as possible need to see the stark differences between the accomplishments and leadership of President Trump and the failed record and sleepiness of Joe Biden,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement to NYT.
The news follows reports in December 2019 that Trump may avoid debates against the Democratic nominee altogether. Trump at the time was reportedly skeptical of the CPD, believing it would be biased against him in its moderator selections.
Back in 2016, Trump frequently criticized the format or moderators of his debates against Hillary Clinton. The only moderator he spoke positively of at the time was NBC’s Lester Holt. (RELATED: Trump Executive Order Seeks To Ban Chokeholds By Police, Increase Training Funding)
.@FoxNews is out with another of their phony polls, done by the same group of haters that got it even more wrong in 2016. Watch what happens in November. Fox is terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
The campaign hasn’t yet released any names of moderators it would consider for the debates.