The commission responsible for organizing the electoral debates in the United States on Thursday rejected the request of Donald Trump's campaign team for a fourth televised debate against his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is ahead of him in the polls. The commission replied that "three 90-minute debates worked well for the voter information mission that the debates are supposed to fulfill" and that it remained "committed to respecting its schedule" before the presidential election on November 3.
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The first duel between Donald Trump, 74, and Joe Biden, 77, is scheduled for September 29 in Cleveland, Ohio. It will be eagerly awaited after an unprecedented campaign, largely conducted online because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Republican president and his team were calling for further debate earlier, arguing that voters should be able to follow their first exchange before the first mail-in ballots are allowed to be sent, as early as mid-September. Used to long campaign meetings, the tempestuous Republican hopes to be able to reverse the trend which gives Joe Biden, used to blunders, a good lead in the polls less than three months before the poll.
"Advance the first debate," Donald Trump tweeted Thursday. “A debate, in my opinion, is a public service. Joe Biden and I owe it to the Americans! ” His team, represented by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, presented their request to the independent committee responsible for the debates. "For a nation already deprived of a traditional campaign program because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, it makes no sense to deny large numbers of Americans the opportunity to see and hear too the two visions vying for the future of our country, before millions of votes are cast, ” he wrote.
"The program of the debates has been and will be widely announced," replied the commission, concluding that voters could easily wait for the debates before posting their ballots. Donald Trump and Joe Biden will also debate on October 15 in Miami, Florida, and October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. The vice presidential candidates will face off on October 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.