President Donald Trump indicated Thursday he would not accept changes to the format of the final two presidential debates, after the commission that organizes the events said it would alter its approach to “ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”
“Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?” Trump said Thursday on Twitter.
His campaign announced a conference call with reporters at 3:30 p.m. New York time to discuss the Commission on Presidential Debates. The group said Wednesday it would enact rules changes before the second of three debates on Oct. 15 in Miami.
Scientific polls following the first debate on Tuesday showed that viewers believed Democratic nominee Joe Biden performed better. The event — which saw moderator Chris Wallace repeatedly beseech the president to cease interrupting, and both candidates trade personal insults — was widely panned as chaotic.
“I never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did,” Wallace, a Fox News anchor, told the New York Times on Wednesday.
Biden on Wednesday said he was “looking forward” to additional debates but would not “speculate” on possible rules changes.
“He not only attacked me constantly, but he also attacked the moderator,” Biden said during a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio. “I just hope there is a way the commission can control the ability to answer questions without interruptions.”
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said earlier Thursday that Trump “plans on being” at the next debate.
“But he wants the rules to be fair and a fair exchange and doesn’t want rules that cover for a certain candidate’s inability to perform well,” she said.
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