The Trump campaign is demanding that the Commission on Presidential Debates adjust the topics for the final presidential debate so that the meeting focuses on foreign policy.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien tweeted a letter to the commission Monday raising objections with the topics announced by moderator and NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker last week, saying the commission should observe “long-standing custom” by making foreign policy the central focus of Thursday’s debate. Stepien also claimed the campaigns had agreed to the third debate being focused on foreign policy.
“As is the long-standing custom, and as has been promised by the Commission on Presidential Debates, we had expected that foreign policy would be the central focus of the October 22 debate. We urge you to recalibrate the topics and return to subjects which had already been confirmed,” Stepien wrote.
Stepien accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of being “desperate to avoid conversations about his own foreign policy record” and said the commission was trying to alter the course of the final debate in order to “insulate Biden from his own history.”
“The Commission’s pro-Biden antics have turned the entire debate season into a fiasco and it is little wonder why the public has lost faith in its objectivity,” he wrote.
Biden’s campaign, however, noted that there was a prior agreement that the moderator would select the topics and that the Trump campaign is lying so that Trump could sidestep questions about his administration’s “disastrous” response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The campaigns and the Commission agreed months ago that the debate moderator would choose the topics,” said national press secretary TJ Ducklo. “The Trump campaign is lying about that now because Donald Trump is afraid to face more questions about his disastrous COVID response. As usual, the president is more concerned with the rules of a debate than he is getting a nation in crisis the help it needs.”
Stepien’s letter comes days after Welker announced that the topics of the debate would be fighting the coronavirus pandemic, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership.
The letter came shortly after the president railed against Welker as “a radical left Democrat, or whatever she is.”
Trump is out here preemptively attacking Kristen Welker, the moderator of the upcoming presidential debate, as "a radical left Democrat, or whatever she is." pic.twitter.com/pss1wUmeSa
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020