‘No Reason’ for Next Debate to Be Delayed: Trump Lawyer

Biden says he'll listen to experts on debate health precautions
October 5, 2020 Updated: October 5, 2020

There’s no reason to push back the next presidential debate, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said Oct. 5, while Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would defer to “experts.”

“I think it’s very possible. Again, all of it assumes he keeps making progress the way he does,” Giuliani said during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I assume he’s going to be in condition by then to do it. Can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t. And there’s no reason to delay them. There’s only two more left, they’re enormously valuable to the American people. I think he’ll make every effort to make it. I’m certain he will.”

Trump and Biden are scheduled to face off for the second time in a debate in Miami, Florida, on Oct. 15. The rivals went head-to-head in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29.

Two days after the debate, Trump tested positive for COVID-19. The president entered Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland for treatment. On Oct. 5, Trump announced that he would be leaving the hospital that evening, feeling “better than [he] did 20 years ago,” while Biden traveled to Florida to campaign.

At the airport in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden told reporters who asked what precautions he supports for the next debate that he would “listen to the science.”

“If scientists say that it’s safe … then I think that’s fine. I’ll do whatever the experts say is appropriate for me to do,” he said. “I’m not an expert on it, but I think we should be very cautious.”

Biden remained at home for months starting in March to try to avoid contracting the virus. He resumed in-person campaigning in August. Trump started holding rallies in June after a break.

Trump’s campaign that month started sending volunteers door-to-door, a practice Biden’s campaign just began in recent days.

Biden has tested negative for COVID-19 twice since Trump’s diagnosis. Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, have also tested negative.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump, right, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images)

Pence and Harris are set to square off in their first and only debate, in Salt Lake City on Oct. 7.

Symone Sanders, a Biden campaign official, said Oct. 4 that the next presidential debate should go forward as scheduled.

“It’s a town hall [format] and, as you know, Vice President Biden loves a good town hall. And we are hoping President Trump can participate. We’re hoping that he’s medically able to participate, and that is up to his doctors to clear him. But Joe Biden will be at that debate,” she said.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, billed as a nonpartisan group, oversees debate scheduling and details, including moderators.

Following the first presidential debate, the commission is considering making changes to the debate format, something opposed by Trump’s campaign.

“I would not put in new rules in the middle of a campaign. I would, through us or if they want to do it directly, just remind both candidates stay within your two minutes, don’t interrupt,” Giuliani said.

Trump regularly interrupted Biden during the debate. Giuliani said it was a strategic move, pointing to a debate between then-Vice President Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan in 2012.

“He just was all over him. I think we told the president, ‘We don’t want the story coming out that he dominated you.’ And the president sure didn’t let that story come out,” Giuliani said.

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