Update (2000ET): Trump's camp has responded to the news of the cancellation by insisting that President Trump is still willing to participate in three debates.
- TRUMP CAMPAIGN: WOULD BE GLAD TO DO 1-ON-1 DEBATE W/NO MEDDLING
- TRUMP CAMPAIGN: NO REASON NOT TO HAVE 3 DEBATES AS PLANNED
There's no reason not to do three debates...Trump can only theoretically remain contagious for a few more days, tops.
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When the Commission on Presidential Debates announced last night that it had rejected the Trump Campaign and Biden Campaign's compromise plan to simply push back the debate schedule by a week (moving the second debate to Oct. 22, and the third and final debate until Oct. 29), we figured that was all she wrote for the second presidential debate.
And as it turns out, we were correct.
JUST IN: The next debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has been officially cancelled, a person with direct knowledge of the plans tells me.— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) October 9, 2020
The @debates Commission didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, but officials with the nonpartisan entity responsible for organizing every televised debate between presidential contenders since 1988 began informing campaign officials Friday afternoon.— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) October 9, 2020
WSJ got the scoop, but it wasn't long before the "nonpartisan" Commission, which has organized every presidential debate since 1988, issued a statement confirming that the second debate would not move forward.
UPDATE 6:36pm ET: @debates issues a statement saying: “It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22.” pic.twitter.com/7PNJCoKE2W— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) October 9, 2020
Instead, the CPD will shift its focus to the third presidential debate, set for Oct. 22 in Nashville at Belmont University. That debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments.
It's notable that the cancellation follows last night's mini-scandal set in motion when Steve Scully, the chosen debate moderator, sent a tweet to Anthony Scaramucci that many suspect should have been a DM.
When press for an explanation, he said his account was hacked.
Needless to say, while most Americans are probably relieved that they won't need to sit through another chaotic spectacle like the first debate, conservatives are lashing out at the commission.
Abolish the Commission on Presidential Debates! https://t.co/93PThTTSiP— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) October 9, 2020