The Trump campaign is threatening to skip the 2020 presidential debates unless they are held by someone who they think is “fair” a.k.a a Trump supporter.
President Trump’s campaign is considering only participating in general election debates if an outside firm serves as the host, and his advisers recently sat down with the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates to complain about the debates it hosted in 2016.
The Dec. 19 meeting between Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., a prominent Republican and co-chairman of the commission, Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Mr. Trump’s re-election effort, and another political adviser, Michael Glassner, came soon after Mr. Trump posted on Twitter that the 2016 debates had been “biased.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates is non-partisan. It is composed of both Republicans and Democrats. It is a commission that is designed to hold objective presidential debates.
When Trump or his campaign complains about bias or fairness, what they mean is that they want a supporter holding the debates. Trump thinks Fox and Friends and Sean Hannity are fairness. Trump’s definition of “fairness” is supporting Donald Trump.
Trump may dodge the debates if he has to face objective questions on neutral ground.
The president is trying to rig the presidential debates, which is another sign that he doesn’t believe that he can win a fair fight.
The presidential debates are the biggest audiences of the campaign, so what Trump is really trying to do with his threat is pressure the commission into a debate process that gives him an unfair advantage.
The Commission isn’t going to go for it, and the odds are that Trump will show up at the debates this fall.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association