President Donald Trump plans to debate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Oct. 15, his campaign says.
“The President intends to debate,” Trump campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News.
Murtaugh spoke shortly after Trump returned to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Trump’s hospitalization on Friday, after testing positive for the coronavirus, had fueled speculation that the debate with Biden might not take place.
However, Trump tweeted Monday before leaving Walter Reed that he was ready to get back to the business of re-election.
Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!! The Fake News only shows the Fake Polls.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
“Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!! The Fake News only shows the Fake Polls,” Trump tweeted, referring to polls that show Biden leading the president.
Later, Trump himself confirmed that he was “looking forward to” the second presidential debate.
“I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami,” he tweeted.
I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
“It will be great!”
Symone Sanders, a senior campaign adviser to Biden, said Sunday that Trump’s opponent will be there for the next debate as well.
“We are looking forward to the debate on Oct. 15 in Miami,” Sanders told CNN. “It’s a town hall and, as you know, Vice President Biden loves a good town hall.”
Although the contentious nature of the first debate left some calling for rule changes that would allow moderators to cut off either candidate and prevent interruptions, Steve Cortes, the Trump campaign’s senior adviser for strategy, said he opposes any major format changes.
“We haven’t made a conclusive decision as a campaign, so I don’t want to get in front of the folks within the campaign who are actually doing that negotiation, I’m not part of that,” Cortes told The Hill last week.
“My personal input, though, would be that it is a terrible idea,” he added. “No, we don’t cut the mics off the president of the United States in a debate format.”
Cortes said any changes Trump’s side would support “are sure to be minimal.”
Trump left Walter Reed on Monday evening and returned to the White House.
After he exited the front door of the hospital, the masked Trump pumped his fist.
As he left, one reporter asked Trump how many members of his staff were sick while another asked the president if he considered himself a “super-spreader,” according to New York magazine.
The president then boarded Marine One for the short flight from the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital to the White House.
Pres. Trump arrived back at the White House, and removed his mask, following several nights at Walter Reed Medical Center. The president left Walter Reed on Monday evening despite not having completed his full COVID-19 treatment. https://t.co/yjvZFDyiDK pic.twitter.com/SqdJuFbK7h
— ABC News (@ABC) October 6, 2020
Once at the White House, Trump walked up the steps of the presidential residence, took off the mask he had been wearing and saluted Marine One.
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