President Donald Trump’s campaign on Monday slammed 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden for declining to do more than three debates, as the Trump campaign has been pushing to do four.
“It’s pretty obvious that Joe Biden’s handlers are afraid to send their candidate out without a script and teleprompter handy. An earlier and longer debate schedule is necessary so Americans can see the clear difference between President Trump’s vibrant leadership and Biden’s confused meandering,” Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director said in a statement.
“Based on his performance in a Philadelphia speech last week, it’s not a question of trusting Biden to answer the phone at 3:00 AM in an emergency, it’s a question of whether he can answer it at 3:00 in the afternoon. It’s been 81 days since Biden held a press conference and his handlers continue to encourage him to stay hidden. Americans deserve better,” Murtaugh continued.
The statement comes hours after Biden’s campaign committed to three debates with Trump before the election in November.
“Joe Biden looks forward to facing Donald Trump in a multi-debate series that the American people have come to expect from their leaders; we hope that President Trump would not break that tradition or make excuses for a refusal to participate,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in a letter to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the Washington Post first reported.
Trump’s campaign requested four live debates against Biden, the New York Times reported Friday. The four debates would be one more debate than nominees of both parties usually have before the general election. However, the Biden campaign has only committed to the three. (RELATED: REPORT: Trump Campaign Pushing For 4 Live Debates Against Joe Biden)
“No one should be fooled: the Trump campaign’s new position is a debate distraction,” O’Malley Dillon continued in her letter. “The Trump position seems to be saying that he will debate if he can pick the moderators: clearly the President, who largely conducts interviews only with favorable news outlets, is afraid of facing questions from a neutral moderator. The Trump campaign proposal for elaborate negotiations is merely an effort to dodge fair, even-handed debates.”
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a Friday statement: “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.”
The presidential debates are scheduled for Sept. 29, Oct. 15, and Oct. 22. The moderators have not yet been announced.