Trump, Biden Ready for Rare, Simultaneous Town Halls

Trump is on NBC, Biden on ABC
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2020 6:53 PM CDT
No Debate, but Competing Town Halls Are Here
President Trump gestures after speaking with members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Thursday night was supposed to be the second debate between President Trump and Joe Biden, but those plans got scrapped after the president's COVID diagnosis. Instead, the nation gets the unusual spectacle of simultaneous town halls on different networks:

  • Biden: His town hall begins at 8pm ET on ABC and is scheduled to run for 90 minutes, per the New York Times. It will be held in the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, with George Stephanopoulos as moderator. Biden will be taking questions from about 20 voters in attendance.
  • Trump: His town hall begins at 8pm ET on NBC and is scheduled to run for about an hour. This one will be outdoors, at the Perez Art Museum in Miami, and will be moderated by Savannah Guthrie.

  • Format: Unlike debates, town halls generally don't have time restrictions on responses, notes Denver 7. Attendees will ask questions, the candidates will answer, and moderators will try to keep things moving and perhaps follow up on some of the questions.
  • Anger: NBC continues to take internal flak for its decision to host the Trump forum, notes Politico. In particular, MSNBC chief Phil Griffin disagrees with NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim's decision to move ahead with it. Generally, critics accuse NBC of caving to Trump after he refused to participate in a remote debate with Biden.
(More Election 2020 stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.