The foundation of the presidential debates, long a feature of an election year, is buckling.
ABC News said it intends to hold a town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday October 15 – the same night the former Vice President was slated to have taken part in a debate with President Donald Trump. The announcement of the event is just the latest sign of a breakdown in this traditional stop on the road to the White House.
The Commission on Presidential Debates, the non-partisan organization behind these election-year staples, earlier on Thursday said it had decided to put in place new measures “to protect the health and safety of all involved” for the second debate. Under new rules, the two participants would hold forth from remote locations while moderator Steve Scully curated “town hall” questions from people at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami.
New practices were evident last night during the Commission’s vice-presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, where plexiglass shields were placed on stage between the two seated candidates.