The Trump campaign trolled Joe Biden (D) — who has refused to hold in-person campaign events and continues to, largely, reside in his basement — in an August 6 letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, while asking for a guarantee that the former vice president will “definitely appear on stage, in person.”
The Trump campaign this week asked the commission for the addition of a fourth, or earlier, debate. While the commission did not approve of the request, it left the door open, telling the Trump campaign that it would consider a fourth debate “if the candidates were to agree that they wished to add to that schedule.”
“We are disappointed in your response, but appreciate your openness to a fourth, or earlier, debate ‘[i]f the candidates were to agree that they wished to add to that schedule,'” Trump attorney Rudy Giulini wrote in the letter.
“Your reply makes it clear that the idea of an earlier debate is, in effect, locked away in the basement, alone and diminished,” he said in an apparent jab at Biden, while seeking assurance that the former vice president will appear on the debate stage “in person”:
Since your current refusal to consider an additional debate or an earlier date is based on Mr. Biden’s unwillingness to agree, it would be logical to assume that any further changes to debate arrangements would hinge on his opinion. We must insist on a commitment that the two candidates will definitely appear on stage, in person – whether in a television studio without an audience or elsewhere – and not through separate, online transmissions where Mr. Biden could rely on notes, teleprompter, or handlers.
While we do understand that Mr. Biden has been sequestered in his basement in Wilmington, Delaware, for some time, President Trump still believes that the American people deserve to see the candidates for president side by side at some point.
The letter expressed hope that Biden will “eventually realize that it is a disservice to the American people to try to hide for as long as possible.”
“We aim to continue to put public pressure on Mr. Biden to agree that Americans must see an in-person comparison of the records, visions, and vitality of the two candidates for president before voting begins,” the letter added.
Giuliani’s letter also made a reference to Biden’s “basement” status, identifying “Basement” as his address.
CC: Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden
The Trump campaign sent a letter to the Debate Commission to ensure that Joe Biden would appear Live on Stage to Debate.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 7, 2020
Giuliani also used the letter to press for an earlier debate, writing that the campaign “strongly disagree[s] with your assessment of early voting in the upcoming election”:
In 2016, 41 percent of all votes were cast before Election Day and that figure is certain to rise in 2020. Countless hours of television news coverage and miles of newspaper columns have been devoted to the effect of the coronavirus on voting, with the news media openly advocating for universal mail-in balloting prior to Election Day. Our concerns remain the same: Americans will have already started voting in 16 states well in advance of the first scheduled debate on September 29.
The three presidential debates are currently scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29; Thursday, Oct. 15; and Thursday, Oct. 22.