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Joe Biden on next debate: 'I’m showing up, I’ll be there' whether or not President Trump attends

Posted at 1:30 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 17:16:11-04

PHOENIX — Former Vice President Joe Biden told reporters in Phoenix on Thursday that he will be at the second presidential debate whether or not President Donald Trump decides to participate.

Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, spoke to reporters shortly after landing in Phoenix, where the two are holding campaign events for the first time so far in the race.

"We agreed to three debates over the summer. This has been going on since the early 90s. First debate, person-to-person. Second debate, town hall format. Third debate, person-to-person. We set the dates. I’m sticking with the dates. I’m showing up, I’ll be there. And, in fact, if he shows up fine. If he doesn’t, fine," Biden said.

Watch the full exchange with reporters in the player below.

An announcement by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) that the second debate between Trump and Biden would take place virtually set off a chain of public negotiations Thursday regarding the status of the remaining debate schedule.

In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday morning, Trump said he would not "waste his time" with a virtual debate for their second meeting, which was originally scheduled for October 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida. The change was announced in response to last week's news that Trump had contracted COVID-19.

"I'm not going to do a virtual debate. No, I'm not going to waste my time with a virtual debate," Trump said on Fox Business.

Trump's campaign said it would host a rally instead of attending the debate. However, hours later, the campaign said the president would participate in the debate if it was moved back a week. Biden's campaign reportedly declined that offer.

ABC News also reported that in light of the president's refusal to attend the second debate, Biden would attend an ABC News town hall moderated by Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Oct. 15.