This debate was originally scheduled for the University of Michigan, then moved to Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in  Miami, FL (announced June 23).  Steve Scully, senior executive producer and political editor at C-SPAN, was to moderate the debate, which was to be a town meeting with undecided voters from South Florida.

Commission on Presidential Debates
October 8, 2020  7:21 a.m.


Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2020) – In order to protect the health and safety of all involved with the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15, 2020, The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced the following today:

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations.  The town meeting participants and the moderator, Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer & Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks, will be located at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida.  The White House Pool will provide coverage of the second presidential debate.

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
October 8, 2020  8:18 a.m.

Trump campaign statement on unilateral decision of the Commission on Presidential Debates

“President Trump won the first debate despite a terrible and biased moderator in Chris Wallace, and everybody knows it. For the swamp creatures at the Presidential Debate Commission to now rush to Joe Biden’s defense by unilaterally canceling an in-person debate is pathetic. That’s not what debates are about or how they’re done. Here are the facts: President Trump will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate, so there is no need for this unilateral declaration. The safety of all involved can easily be achieved without canceling a chance for voters to see both candidates go head to head. We’ll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead.”

 - Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager

Biden for President
October 8, 2020  11:37 a.m.

Statement by Biden for President Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield

Joe Biden was prepared to accept the CPD's proposal for a virtual Town Hall, but the President has refused, as Donald Trump clearly does not want to face questions from the voters about his failures on COVID and the economy. As a result, Joe Biden will find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly on October 15th, as he has done on several occasions in recent weeks. Given the President's refusal to participate on October 15th, we hope the Debate Commission will move the Biden-Trump Town Hall to October 22nd, so that the President is not able to evade accountability. The voters should have a chance to ask questions of both candidates, directly. Every Presidential candidate since 1992 has participated in such an event, and it would be a shame if Donald Trump was the first to refuse

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
October 8, 2020  12:35 p.m.

Further statement from the Trump campaign on CPD unilateral decision on virtual debate

“The American people should not be deprived of the chance to see the two candidates for president debate face to face two more times just because the Commission on Presidential Debates wants to protect Joe Biden. It remains extremely suspect that the CPD announced the brand new virtual format at 7:30am ET today immediately after Vice President Mike Pence had just wiped the floor with Senator Kamala Harris. Clearly the commission wanted to shift attention away from Pence’s complete victory. As President Trump said, a virtual debate is a non-starter and would clearly be a gift to Biden because he would be relying on his teleprompter from his basement bunker. Voters should have the opportunity to directly question Biden’s 47-year failed record of leadership. We agree that this should happen on October 22, and accordingly, the third debate should then be shifted back one week to October 29. The CPD and the media cannot hide Joe Biden forever. Americans deserve to hear directly from both presidential candidates on these dates, October 22 and 29.”

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
October 8, 2020  7:56 p.m.

President Trump will be ready to debate, CPD must let Miami debate proceed in person

President Trump’s re-election campaign today released the following statement:

“President Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, says the President will be medically cleared for ‘safe return to public engagements’ by Saturday, five full days before the originally scheduled debate in Miami on October 15. There is therefore no medical reason why the Commission on Presidential Debates should shift the debate to a virtual setting, postpone it, or otherwise alter it in any way. CPD Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf admits that they consulted with no one before unilaterally changing the format of a debate, well in advance of any knowledge of what the President’s condition would be on debate night. The commission must stop protecting Joe Biden from this in-person debate and allow the event to proceed as it was agreed to months ago. The American people can see through this obvious attempt to shield Biden from another shellacking like he got two weeks ago in Cleveland and the CPD must reverse course and let the debate proceed.”

Commission on Presidential Debates

October 9, 2020  6:33 p.m.

Statement by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD):  October 15 Presidential Debate Will Not Proceed

Washington, D.C. (October 9, 2020) – On October 8, CPD announced that for the health and safety of all involved, the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15 in Miami, would be conducted virtually.  Subsequently, the campaigns of the two candidates who qualified for participation in the debate made a series of statements concerning their respective positions regarding their willingness to participate in a virtual debate on October 15, and each now has announced alternate plans for that date. 


It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22. 


Subject to health security considerations, and in accordance with all required testing, masking, social distancing and other protocols, the debate will take place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. 


As announced on June 23, the debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments.  The topics for the six segments will be selected and announced by the moderator at least one week before the debate.  Kristen Welker of NBC News will serve as moderator for the debate. 


Both candidates have agreed to participate in the October 22 debate

October 9, 2020  7:15 p.m.

Trump campaign statement on October 15 debate

“There is no medical reason to stop the October 15 debate in Miami from proceeding as scheduled, since the President will be healthy and ready to debate. There is also no reason there shouldn’t be the three total presidential debates as Joe Biden had originally agreed. We have suggested using October 22 and October 29 to hold the final two debates. It’s time for the biased commission to stop protecting Biden and preventing voters from hearing from the two candidates for president.

“There’s nothing that says that President Trump and Joe Biden can’t debate together without the overlords at the commission having a say in the matter.  We would be glad to debate one-on-one without the commission’s interference.”

- Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director

Jo Jorgensen for President
October 9, 2020
CONTACT: Elizabeth C. Brierly

Jorgensen to Trump: Join the club!

Libertarian for President Jo Jorgensen finds it hilarious that Trump accuses the CPD of trying to silence him

GREENVILLE, S.C.—  “Join the club, President Trump,” said Dr. Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian for president in response to his claim that the Commission on Presidential debates is “trying to silence” him. “The CPD, along with its Democratic and Republican colluders – including you,  have been silencing the Libertarian Party for decades. Your hypocritical criticism of your own co-conspirators is hilarious.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates consists of well-connected Democrats and Republicans who conspire every election with media elites to set debate rules that deliberately exclude alternative party competitors.

Since billionaire Ross Perot was in the presidential debates in 1992, the CPD has required presidential candidates to poll an average of fifteen percent in polls by five pre-selected polling firms – a percentage that was carefully calculated to make it virtually impossible for an outsider to qualify.

Those same Democrats and Republicans allow presidential candidates to participate in primary election debates with poll numbers as low as one percent.

“Do you want to show some consistency for a change, President Trump?” asked Jorgensen. “Tell the CPD to set rules that accommodate all viable candidates for president.”

Jo Jorgensen is the only alternative-party candidate for president who is on the ballot in all fifty states, plus the District of Columbia -- in spite of rules set by Democratic and Republican lawmakers to make it very difficult to achieve this.


About Jorgensen–Cohen 2020:  Dr. Jo Jorgensen is the 2020 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, and was the party’s 1996 vice-presidential nominee. She is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and senior lecturer at Clemson University. She holds an MBA and a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Dr. Jorgensen and vice-presidential candidate Jeremy “Spike” Cohen were nominated at the party’s national convention, the first ever on-line national political convention, held in May. Learn more about Jorgensen–Cohen 2020 at   

About the Libertarian Party: The Libertarian Party was founded in 1972 and today is the third largest political party in the United States. Millions of Americans have voted for Libertarian Party candidates in elections throughout the country. The Libertarian, Democratic, and Republican parties are the only political parties that will appear on the ballot in all fifty states (plus D.C.) this November. Learn more about the Libertarian Party