Presidential debate commission defends schedule after Trump campaign pushes for new dates

The Commission on Presidential Debates is pushing again in opposition to criticism from the Trump campaign over its debate schedule.

The nonpartisan entity, which introduced the dates and places for three debates late last year, responded Wednesday to Trump campaign officers’ calling the timeline “unacceptable.”

“The CPD has only one mission: to sponsor and produce general election debates that inform and educate the public,” it stated in a press release. “Our schedule is designed with that single mission in mind.”

The first debate is scheduled for Sept. 16 at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Trump’s campaign stated in a press release Tuesday that the commission’s schedule doesn’t start “until after millions of Americans will have already cast their ballots.”

The overwhelming majority of states is not going to have began mailing out absentee ballots by the primary debate. While a handful of states begin mailing absentee ballots in early September, most start sending them inside a month and a half of the election, in response to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Election Day this yr falls on Nov. 5.

“As it always does, the CPD considered multiple factors in selecting debate dates in order to make them accessible by the American public,” the commission stated. “These factors include religious and federal holidays, early voting, and the dates on which individual states close their ballots.”

“The CPD purposefully chose September 16 after a comprehensive study of early voting rules in every state,” it added, noting that the September debate would be the “earliest televised general election debate ever held.”

Trump’s co-campaign managers, Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, reacted to the commission’s response by reiterating their criticism.

They stated Tuesday they’re “committed to making this happen with or without the Presidential Debate Commission.”

The commission, launched in 1987, has sponsored all presidential debates for many years.

President Joe Biden stated in an interview final week that he could be “happy to debate” Trump.

Trump, who skipped all the 2024 GOP main debates, later posted on social media about his willingness to debate, writing in all capital letters, “anywhere, anytime, anyplace.”

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