Democratic candidate Joe Biden will take part in a town hall forum hosted by ABC News to replace what was supposed to be the second presidential debate on October 15.
Instead, the former vice president will participate in his own event, taking place in Philadelphia, moderated by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, The Hill reports.
The announcement of Biden’s new event indicates that the second presidential debate is officially off the table after President Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday morning that the October 15 debate in Miami would take place virtually, with Biden and Trump participating in separate remote locations and moderator Steve Scully still in Florida.
But, President Trump was quick to shut down the proposal, saying it would be a waste of his time.
“I’m not going to waste my time on the virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about,” Trump said in an interview on Fox Business. “You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It’s ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want.”
Instead of the debate, the Trump campaign said it would hold a rally on October 15, despite questions about whether the president would be out of the woods in terms of his coronavirus diagnosis. The campaign later urged the commission to delay the two remaining debates by a week each so that both candidates can participate on October 22 and October 29, according to The Hill.
Biden’s campaign shrugged the idea off, saying that Trump should not be able to change the schedule.
“We look forward to participating in the final debate, scheduled for October 22, which already is tied for the latest debate in 40 years,” said Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield. “Donald Trump can show up, or he can decline again. That’s his choice.”
The ABC town hall, set to occur on Thursday, October 15, will be Biden’s second town hall event in recent weeks, the first in Miami last Monday.