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Commission: We're Moving Straight to Debate No. 3

2nd debate between Trump and Biden nixed after Trump refuses virtual format
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2020 5:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – First came the decision to make the second debate virtual between President Trump and former VP Joe Biden. Now, an update: There's won't be a debate at all. Per CNN, the Commission on Presidential Debates has nixed the debate scheduled for Oct. 15 after Trump said he wouldn't do the virtual format, with some worried he may still be contagious with COVID-19. Now, all eyes are on the debate that had been scheduled after that at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 22. The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump's campaign had called for moving the dates for both debates back a week, but Biden's camp refused that option. "It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15," the commission said in a statement. "Both candidates have agreed to participate in the October 22 debate." That debate will be moderated by NBC anchor Kristen Welker.

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On Oct. 15, Biden will instead participate in a town hall hosted by ABC News, NPR reports. Trump is hoping to hold a rally or a town hall on NBC, though plans for neither have been finalized. There'd been a bit of hubbub involving C-SPAN's Steve Scully, the moderator set for the second debate, after a now-deleted tweet apparently sent by Scully to former White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci emerged, in which Scully asked: "Should I respond to Trump?" Trump accused Scully of being a "Never Trumper," per Politico. Scully, for his part, alleges he didn't write that tweet, Fox News reports. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, another canceled debate: one set for Friday between GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham and his rival, Democrat Jaime Harrison, after Harrison said he wouldn't attend if Graham didn't take a COVID-19 test; Graham refused, the Hill reports. Instead, the two were interviewed in separate 30-minute segments on a local station. (Read more presidential debate stories.)

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