“It is now clear that there will be no debate on October 15 and the CPD will focus on preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22,” the commission said in a statement.
The committee, backed by their health advisers, announced Thursday morning that – because Trump was positive about the Koran – the Miami debate scheduled to take place would be substantial, with the two candidates appearing from remote locations. Trump quickly rejected the plan, saying he would not show up and would launch a series of events that call into question the future of all general election debate.
In response to Trump’s cancellation, a Biden spokeswoman was quick to point out that they would have agreed on a virtual form for next Thursday’s contest, but because the president appeared to have been rescued, they would reserve another form for the former vice president to do. questions. And they did just that, later that day, ABC News announced that it would be hosting a town hall with the former vice president.
“Vice President Biden looks forward to the cause of the American people on how to overcome this pandemic, restore American leadership and our alliances to the world, and bring the American people together,” Biden’s campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said on Friday. in a statement. “It is a shame that Donald Trump caught the only debate in which voters can ask questions – but it is not surprising.”
The Trump campaign, in response to their candidate who withdrew from the debate, issued three statements Thursday that struck the committee, prompted the Biden campaign to agree to a personal debate, and said they would be willing to move the October 15 debate forward. a week until October 22 and then move on to the third debate on October 29, just days before the November 3 election.
However, Biden’s campaign rejected the proposal, with campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield responding, “Donald Trump is not setting the agenda; the panel’s doing so.”
The Trump campaign claimed that because the President’s doctor, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, has cleared him for travel, the committee should take the discussion to a personal atmosphere.
“Therefore, there is no medical reason why the Presidential Debate Committee should shift the debate to a virtual environment, postpone it or change it in any way,” Trump campaign director Bill Stepien said in a statement.
Trump is now in talks to make a town hall with NBC on Thursday instead of discussing it, according to a person familiar with the plans, but this source warned that things have not been finalized yet.
If this event bears fruit, both candidates would participate in town halls at separate events instead of the debate, which was scheduled to take place in the form of town hall.
The cancellation is a political loss for Trump, who is down in all national polls and either backed or linked to Biden in key states. The loss of a debate deprives the President of a platform he needs at a time when his campaign is over. The first debate between Trump and Biden, a chaotic affair, was attended by more than 73 million people.
The reality for the commission, however, is that when Trump left and Biden agreed on an ABC town hall, a second discussion between the candidates was unlikely, according to many sources familiar with the negotiations.
And commission chairman Frank Fahrenkopf told CNN Thursday night that pushing the Trump campaign to hold a personal debate next week in Miami, after the president had already withdrawn from the race, did little to change the commission’s belief. for the presidential debate that any debate next week should be fictitious.
“The Cleveland Clinic should clarify this,” Farenkov said. He added, however, that the Biden campaign was not involved again, something the commission leader believed was unlikely to happen after talks with Biden’s top aides.
“They have gone ahead and they are going to do that with ABC,” Fahrenkopf added. “It does not look good unless the Biden campaign changes its mind.”
Negotiations between the campaigns and the commission earlier on Friday did nothing to change the fact that the likelihood of a debate in Miami was low.
“It is fair to say that Miami looks set to be canceled,” a source familiar with the talks told CNN. “I do not think there is any movement on either side that will make Miami happen.”
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.