This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 24, 2020:
After the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced the dates of the three debates between the presumptive presidential candidates from each political party, the Biden campaign said that was all they wanted. They called Trump’s campaign efforts to expand to a fourth debate a “distraction.”
Biden campaign manager Jen Dillon wrote to the CPD on Monday that “Joe Biden looks forward to facing Donald Trump in a multi-debate series that the American people have come to expect from their leaders.… The Trump campaign’s … position is a debate distraction.”
The Trump position seems to be saying that he will debate if he can pick the moderators; clearly the President … is afraid of facing questions from a neutral moderator….
Joe Biden will accept the Commission’s debates, on the Commission’s dates, under the Commission’s established format and the Commission’s independent choice of moderators.
Since 1988, when the CPD was formed as an independent nonprofit tasked with producing the presidential debates, every one of those “neutral” moderators came from the controlled media: PBS, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC. The only time Fox News moderated a debate occurred in October 2016 when Trump squared off with Hillary Clinton in a contest moderated by quasi-liberal Fox News commentator Chris Wallace.
That’s why Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, requested a fourth debate, with an actual neutral moderator presiding:
We want fair debates. We want them sooner, and we want a bigger schedule.
We also don’t want them up against football games competing for viewers. As many Americans as possible need to see the stark differences between the accomplishments and leadership of President Trump and the failed record and sleepiness of Joe Biden.
According to CPD rules, both campaigns have to agree to any change in the debate schedule. With Dillon’s letter accusing Trump being “afraid” of facing questions from a “neutral” moderator, which will, in truth, likely be carefully crafted to put Trump at a disadvantage, no such agreement is possible.
Tim Murtaugh, Trump’s 2020 campaign communications director, responded to Dillon’s letter: “It’s pretty obvious that Joe Biden’s handlers are afraid to send their candidate out without a script and teleprompter handy. An earlier and longer debate schedule is necessary so Americans can see the clear difference between President Trump’s vibrant leadership and Biden’s confused meandering.”
Murtaugh could very well be right. As The New American reported on Sunday, a Zogby poll of likely voters showed a majority of them thinking “it was more likely … that Vice President Biden is in the early stages of dementia.”
And on Monday, Joe Concha, a media reporter for The Hill, agreed with Zogby:
A lot of Democrats will tell you, at least, privately that he does not have the mental acuity that he even had a couple of years ago and this is a candidate that simply would not able to withstand the type of press conferences that the current president has, as far as them going on for an hour-hour and a half, taking questions with multiple outlets with no ground rules attached….
It’s a lot easier to have a handpicked interview, where you have ground rules, with certain outlets that may be friendly to your candidate.
If Biden is to have any chance of standing up to President Trump, he must have “friendly” moderators pitching him questions likely known to him (but not Trump) in advance, and he cannot be allowed to go off-script. The “neutral moderators” selected by the viciously anti-Trump media won’t be announced until early September.
The debates are scheduled for Tuesday, September 29, at Notre Dame, Indiana; Thursday, October 15, in Miami; and Thursday, October 22, in Nashville.