Thursday’s Trump campaign hit the Public Debate Commission as partisan after the organization proposed changing the rules and format for the remaining presidential debates between President Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, speaking to reporters on Thursday, criticized the CPD for being biased despite calling himself a “private, impartial, 501c3, independent organization” on his website.
“It is not controlled by any political party or external organization and it does not endorse or support any candidate, political candidate or party,”
“The last time I checked, the definition of being impartial, non-biased, or partisan, especially to a particular candidate or political group, is,” Stepien said. “These characterizations couldn’t be further from the truth.”
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Stepien continued to criticize the leadership of CPD Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, citing an interview he gave to Nantucket Magazine this summer.
“What I learned in 2016, which was a strange year, was that Americans won’t necessarily vote who they think is the smartest person,” said Fahrenkopf.
During the interview, he also said that “Trump has loyal supporters and they will turn out to be” to vote.
“They have done it in the past and I think they will do it again. But there is so much aversion to this president, ”said Fahrenkopf. “You asked some polls, ‘Are you going to the polls to vote against Trump or for Biden?’ And more people are saying that they’re going to vote against Trump – they really don’t like him. I think you’re going to have a very large turnout. “
Stepien also criticized another co-chair, Dorothy Ridings, a former DNC official, and Kenneth Wollack, former President of the National Democratic Institute, and board member Jane Harman for making donations to Democrats over the years.
“This is America, anyone can support and vote for the candidate of their choice,” said Stepien. “But an organization that is not impartial shouldn’t pretend it is.”
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“Joe Biden is a creature of this town. He made himself comfortable with the bicycles and dealers in the city, and lo and behold, that’s exactly what this commission is doing, ”said Stepien. “The Democrats who serve in the leadership of the CPD are clearly supporters of Joe Biden, they support Democrats, they donate to Democrats.”
The campaign’s commentary takes place in a back and forth between the Commission and Trump and Biden’s campaigns.
The commission said Wednesday it was considering adding “additional structure” to the format after Tuesday night’s debate in Cleveland, Ohio, contained repeated interruptions and both candidates hurled charges and insults at one another.
“The Presidential Debate Commission sponsors television debates for the benefit of American voters,” the CPD said in a statement on Wednesday. “Last night’s debate made it clear that the format of the remaining debates should be expanded to include an additional structure to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”
The Commission added that it “will carefully examine the changes it will adopt and will announce these measures shortly”.
Sources close to the negotiations between the Commission and the campaigns told Fox News that the Biden campaign debater negotiator, Brady Williamson, has requested expressly to allow a “mute button” for upcoming presidential debates.
A source said Williamson’s request was made Wednesday morning, just hours after the first showdown. The source said the request was put in front of at least two dozen witnesses.
Shortly after the meeting, the source said, the commission issued a statement stating that it is now “carefully considering” changes to the format of the remaining debates. The CPD is sponsoring two more debates for Trump and Biden, one on October 15 in Miami, Florida and one on October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. A vice presidential debate is scheduled for October 7th.
Trump’s deputy campaign manager for presidential operations, Max Miller, who was the negotiator for the president’s team, said Thursday that Williamson – on behalf of the Biden campaign – had not just proposed a “mute button” to the commission to prompt candidates To make opening and closing statements and to shorten the open discussion time during the debate.
But Williamson denied in a brief phone interview with Fox News Tuesday that he made the request.
“It’s probably a rumor, but it’s not true,” Williamson told Fox News.
When asked if he jokingly suggested a mute button, Williamson said, “No.”
But Thursday’s Trump campaign struck back, saying the campaign “can’t deny” that the request was made.
“The Biden campaign knows their guy has done a bad job, and now they’re running on the commission to try to change the rules,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News who was their negotiator made in front of many witnesses. “
Murtaugh added, “You should really be asking for a mute button on Joe Biden because he really is the greatest threat to yourself.”
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Meanwhile, the Biden campaign also denied Williamson requested a mute button while targeting the Trump campaign and the president.
“This is as true as the other faint lies the Trump campaign told before the initial debate – before Donald Trump debunked his own report on the pandemic as a failure, he urged the violent white supremacists to ‘stand by’ and crater-like, “Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Fox News.
To mock the Trump campaign, Bates said, “From a place of equal seriousness we understand that the Trump campaign insisted that Donald Trump be four inches taller for the next debate, and that he was only asking questions from active 4Chan- Users answered – none of these could be about the coronavirus. “
According to an analysis by Fox News, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times and host Chris Wallace 74 times for a total of 145 times. According to the analysis, Biden interrupted Trump 49 times and Wallace 18 times, a total of 67 times.