Trump Campaign Ropes In Giuliani To Demand More Debates Against Biden

PALM BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 19: Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani Addresses the crowd at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit on December 19, 2019 in Palm Beach, Florida. Conservative high school students gathered for a 4-day invite-only conference hosted by Turning Point USA to hear from conservative leaders and activists from across the U.S.(Photo by Saul Martinez/Getty Images)
PALM BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 19: Rudy Giuliani (Photo by Saul Martinez/Getty Images)
June 18, 2020 6:50 p.m.

The Trump campaign is reportedly putting Rudy Giuliani in charge of a campaign to call for more debates against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this fall.

According to Politico, Giuliani hosted a Thursday afternoon conference call with Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chairman of the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. Both Giuliani and Parscale demanded that the debates begin prior to the start of early voting. Additionally, they requested a fourth debate.

Trump advisers told Politico that despite the President’s threat to boycott the debates last year, he now wants to have a showdown against Biden in an effort to sow doubts regarding the former VP’s stamina for the job. Politico reported that Trump advisers also believe that more debates means more opportunities for Biden to embarrass himself.

The Trump campaign also requested that debates take place on weekday evenings, with the exception of Thursdays due to NFL games, which they argue would maximize viewership.

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Politico reported that Giuliani — who played a role in Trump’s 2016 debate prep — is being brought onto the Trump campaign by Parscale to serve in an unpaid capacity. Giuliani’s new role would mark his return to the spotlight following his prominence during Trump’s impeachment, which involved Giuliani leading efforts to dig up false allegations against the Bidens.

Trump’s team is turning its focus to vetting moderators and says that both the re-election campaign and Biden should have input, according to Politico.

Parscale appeared to give the green light on Politico’s report in Thursday afternoon tweets.

Kate Bedingfield, deputy manager for the Biden campaign, reacted to Politico’s report by telling TPM in a statement that Trump “wants to change the subject from his failed leadership” by launching a “‘campaign’ for many debates.”

“We are not going to ride the roller coaster of the ever-changing Trump campaign position on debates, nor are we going to be distracted by his demands,” Bedingfield wrote. “We will make this simple: like every other Democratic and Republican candidate since 1992, we will show up for the debates set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, at the places they have selected, on the dates they have selected, with the formats and moderators they designate — so long as Donald Trump does the same, and does not intimidate the Commission into changes from past practices.”

Bedingfield then slammed Trump for his “debate distraction gambit” and argued that he could use his time better by making efforts to fight COVID-19, fix the economy, address systemic racism, or golf at one his properties at taxpayers’ expense.

The Commission on Presidential Debates did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

Three presidential debates are currently scheduled in the fall: Sept. 29 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Oct. 15 at the University of Michigan, and Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville. A vice presidential debate will be held Oct. 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Biden has yet to announce his running mate.

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