Donald Trump said Thursday morning he will not participate in a virtual debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
‘That’s not accessible to us. I beat him easily in the first debate,’ Trump noted in an interview with Fox Business minutes after the bipartisan commission that hosts the debates announced it would be shifting the format to virtual.
‘No, I’m not gonna waste my time in a virtual debate,’ the president added.
‘That’s not what debating is all about,’ he said. ‘You sit behind a computer… and then they cut you off whenever they want.’
The Commission on Presidential Debates made the announcement Thursday morning, a week before Trump and Biden were scheduled to face-off in-person in Miami, Florida for the second of three debates.
The candidates will ‘participate from separate remote locations,’ but Trump, Biden and the moderator, C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, will remain in Miami, the commission said.
Trump said the commission did not inform him about the change before making the announcement.
‘They didn’t even tell us about that,’ he told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. ‘We learned it the same way you learned it.’
Trump was diagnosed with coronavirus a week ago and said he looked forward to debating Biden on stage in Miami, saying, ‘It will be great!’
The change-in-plans were revealed the morning after the first and only vice presidential debate took place in-person in Utah Wednesday night.
The Daily Mail notes,
Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris faced-off on stage at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City – but the two were seated 12 feet apart and each had a full sheet of plexiglass standing to their side.
Pence tested negative for COVID-19 ahead of the debate as it appears he was not one of the few dozen in Trump’s inner circle who have contracted the virus following two apparent ‘super spreader’ events last week.
Biden, for his part, said he and Trump ‘shouldn’t have a debate’ as long as the president remains COVID positive.
The former vice president told reporters in Pennsylvania that he was ‘looking forward to being able to debate him’ but said ‘we’re going to have to follow very strict guidelines.’