Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been camped out in his basement since April. If the Biden campaign gets its way, he won’t be leaving anytime soon.
In an MSNBC interview Monday morning, Senior Biden Advisor Karine Jean-Pierre accused the Trump campaign of trying to “move the goalposts” by calling for more debates starting earlier.
WATCH: Senior Biden advisor Karine Jean-Pierre admits the Biden campaign does not want more debates with President Trump and that they don't want to move the debates up.— Francis Brennan (@FrancisBrennan) August 3, 2020
The first presidential debate will be held on September 29. SIXTEEN states will have already started voting. pic.twitter.com/82UzXNdguX
“We’ve said yes to doing three debates and one vice presidential debate as has been laid out by the nonpartisan debate commission, a debate commission that’s been around and every campaign has followed for generations,” Jean-Pierre said. “And that is what we have agreed to do. What’s happening is Donald Trump and his campaign are trying to move the goalposts.”
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien has expressed concern that 16 states will already be voting by the time the first debate is held on September 29.
“We want more debates, we want debates starting sooner,” Stepien said Monday on Fox and Friends. “I want to see President Trump on the debate stage against Joe Biden. [W]e’re already seeing the liberal left, the liberal media trying to create trap doors for Joe Biden to escape his commitment and his obligation to debate Donald Trump on the debate stage in front of the American people.”
Democrats are already trying to give Joe Biden the cover not to debate.— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 3, 2020
@BillStepien is spot on: Americans deserve to see the contrast between @realDonaldTrump’s America First Agenda and Biden’s far-left agenda on the debate stage! pic.twitter.com/n23P9PHqaQ
Stepien’s comments come the same day as a New York Times op-ed titled, “Let’s Scrap the Presidential Debates.” The piece asserts that the debates “play an outsize role in campaigns and weigh more heavily on the verdict than their true value deserves.”
Last week, former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart penned a CNN op-ed with advice for Biden: Don’t debate Trump.
“Trump has now made more than 20,000 misleading or false statements according to the Washington Post,” Lockhart wrote. “It's a fool's errand to enter the ring with someone who can't follow the rules or the truth. Biden will undoubtedly take heat from Republicans and the media for skipping the debates. But it's worth the risk as trying to debate someone incapable of telling the truth is an impossible contest to win.”
Despite the Biden Campaign’s assurance that its candidate will debate the president, Stepien said it’s up to voters to hold them accountable.
“We take our cues from the American people,” he stated. “The American people in those 16 states that are going to be voting before September 29 are the ones that want to see the candidates on the debate stage. You’re really starting to see the grassroots pressure amp up from corners of the country who expect, want, and deserve to see their options right in front of them on the debate stage, and we join them in that push.”