1-on-1 with the Biden & Trump campaigns on virtual debate announcement, VP debate

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(WCMH)– Republican National Committee Deputy Communications Director Cassie Smedile says Vice President Mike Pence came off as compassionate and factual at Wednesday night’s Vice Presidential debate in Salt Lake City. National Press Secretary for the Joe Biden for President Campaign TJ Ducklo disagrees.

However, the performances of the two people vying to be the next Vice President of the United States are being overshadowed Thursday by the announcement from the Commission on Presidential Debates that the the next presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden would be virtual, and the president’s refusal to participate because of that change.

President Trump is still presumably COVID-19 positive. His administration has refused to revealed the last time he has gotten a negative test result since testing positive last Thursday.

Smedile says the CPD sprung this on them without consent from the campaigns, and that Wednesday night’s debate was a perfect example of how a safe, in person debate can be done.

“They were only required to be six feet apart, but they were 12 feet apart. They put up not one but two partitions to give that extra bit of protection between the candidates,” Smedile added. “Anyone who went into the [debate] hall was tested and tested negative. They all wore masks except for those on the stage. All of these things were agreed to by both teams and all were adhered to by both teams. There’s a way to do it.”

But Ducklo thinks the president is using this as an excuse to get out of the townhall format of the debate.

“Neither campaign was involved in that decision [to debate virtually], and we quickly accepted their invitation, so we had the same heads up that the Trump campaign had,” Ducklo stated. “We decided that we would say yes, and they decided to pull out of the debate, because Donald Trump doesn’t want to be held accountable by the voters who would be participating in the townhall next week.”

Thursday afternoon, it was announced that Biden’s advisers suggested the debate could be pushed back a week to Oct. 22. Trump’s team accepted that date but only if it was in-person.

The Trump campaign also asked that a third contest be added on Oct. 29, just before the election. Biden’s campaign promptly rejected debating on Oct. 29., according to a report from NewsNation.

You can watch the full interviews with Smedile and Ducklo in the videos above.

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