Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump and the RNC are complaining. This time about the debate schedule. He wants you to believe that Clinton is “trying to rig the debates.”
Trump tweeted Friday,
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
The problem is that Hillary Clinton does not make the debate schedule. This is a function of the Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonpartisan group that, of course, includes members of both parties. The CPD factsplained to the Trump campaign that it had “announced the number, dates and sites for the 2016 general election debates in September 2015,” nearly a year ago; it is not something Hillary could have been responsible for even had she the power. It also pointed out that, “The CPD did not consult with any political parties or campaigns in making these decisions.”
Brian Stelter at CNN Money made the point that while “Trump’s primary complaint in his tweet was that two of the debates are scheduled on the same nights as NFL games,” that this was “also true in 2012, and the debates were still high-rated. Sporting events, religious holidays, and other factors cause scheduling headaches every four years.”
Trump’s complaints fall apart any way you care to look at it. The debate schedule predates Hillary Clinton’s nomination, she did not make it, and it is no different from the 2012 debate schedule.
Donald Trump is afraid of Hillary Clinton, It is one thing to insult her with tweets, but it is quite another to insult her face to face, where she can answer his insults with facts. Trump has nothing to gain by facing Hillary Clinton face to face, and much to lose. His complaints are simply a device to position himself for avoiding the debates, just as he has avoided releasing his tax returns, or indeed, any concrete policy details.