Trump campaign managers criticize Commission on Presidential Debates for sticking to original debate schedule

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Former President Donald Trump listens to applause during the Black Conservative Union Gala on February 23, 2024, in Columbia, South Carolina.


Former President Donald Trump Campaign managers on Tuesday criticized the Commission on Presidential Debates after the commission reported Fox News It will stick to the original debate schedule despite calls from the Trump campaign to delay the dates and add more debates.

Trump’s campaign managers, Chris Lacivita and Susie Wells, said in a statement that they would extend an invitation to “every television network in America that wants to host a debate,” and called for… President Joe Biden A campaign to coordinate with them to hold a debate “as soon as possible.”

For weeks, republicans has been urged Holding debates between Trump and Biden as soon as possible.

“The Commission on Presidential Debate schedule only begins after millions of Americans have already cast their votes. This is unacceptable, and by refusing to elevate the debate, they are doing a grave disservice to the American public who deserve to hear from both candidates before voting begins.”

“President Trump has stated that he will debate Joe Biden anytime, anywhere, anywhere, and Joe Biden himself has just agreed to debate. “We are committed to making this happen with or without the Commission on Presidential Debate,” they added. “We extend an invitation to every television network in America that wants to host a debate, and we once again call on Joe Biden’s team to work with us to prepare a debate as soon as possible. The American people deserve it.”

CNN has reached out to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

A committee He told Fox News earlier On Tuesday, she said she was sticking to her original schedule, “country program standards.” […] It will be implemented in early September. After that, the committee will extend invitations to the debate to qualified candidates.

“The CPD is proceeding with production and broadcast plans at its four debate locations as also announced on November 20, 2023,” the committee’s statement said, according to Fox News.

The Republican National Committee is encouraging its representatives to pressure Biden to debate Trump in televised interviews. Trump and his team have issued several statements that have made near-carbon-copy arguments about the former president’s willingness to debate Biden anytime, anywhere.

The subtext of these calls points to the contrast Trump and Republicans hope to achieve with Biden: that the former president is energetic and ready to get on stage while Biden is less so.

But Biden recently said this in an interview with Howard Stern He would be “happy to debate” Trump. Previously, he was evasive, saying that the matter would depend on the behavior of the former president.

Trump has had a mixed history with debates since his appearance on the presidential campaign scene. There were moments, like in 2016, when he was eager to debate his rivals. However, in the 2024 Republican primaries, the GOP front-runner skipped every debate and ended up getting the party’s nomination.

Two years ago, the Republican National Committee voted decisively to withdraw from debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates months after Ronna McDaniel, the committee’s then-chairwoman, pressured the commission to make changes to the debates in response to Trump’s complaints.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Daniel Strauss contributed to this report.

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