The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15, 2020, would be virtual. A virtual event is not a proper way for the Americans to see their presidential candidates engage in a debate.
The Democrats, for quite a while, have shown a lack of interest in a debate. Nancy Pelosi, the highest ranking Democrat in the country, said in August that Joe Biden should not debate Donald Trump at all. Last month, she repeated her assertion and said there there should be no debates between the presidential candidates. Reportedly, former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart, who served in the Clinton administration, and other Democrat Party strategists, urged Joe Biden not to debate President Donald Trump.
Now that the first presidential debate has taken place, efforts continue to try to prevent a second presidential debate from happening. The Commission on Presidential Debates just announced that the second presidential debate would be in a virtual format.
A virtual debate would not bring both candidates to a neutral setting. When candidates are in different locations, there is ample opportunity for a candidate to have staff-members in the room and to receive help during the debate.
It is clear that President Trump neither wants not needs such assistance. He has been facing hostile questions from the media and has been answering them extemporaneously throughout his presidency so far. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has avoided press conferences and when he did receive questions from the media, those were softball questions. When speaking to the public or the media, Biden has committed many gaffes that led him to being called a “gaffe machine”.
Joe Biden cannot handle anything other than a friendly question. One of the greatest examples of that is when Biden was asked by CBS correspondent Errol Barnett about whether or not the former vice president has taken a cognitive test. In response, Biden said the following:
This is not the first time that Joe Biden has said something very inappropriate. However, Biden enjoys a friendly media that overlooks his gaffes, while trying to be aggressive towards President Donald Trump in their questioning.
It is no surprise that Joe Biden wants to avoid a debate, while President Trump wants to go through the process that prior presidential candidates have go through – in-person, on-stage debates. Unlike Biden, Donald Trump does not need any assistance from a staff or a teleprompter.
For the Commission on Presidential Debates to announce, on such short notice, that the second debate would be virtual is a decision that is favorable to the Biden campaign. However, it diminishes the role of the American people. The real goal of these debates is for the American people to see, hear from, and understand the policy positions of the candidates while also judging them on their confidence, appearance, and temperament. Only an in-person debate, on stage, with a fair and neutral moderator can allow for that to happen.
The idea of a “virtual debate” is a joke.