With President Donald Trump refusing to the suggestions made by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host a virtual debate, the second presidential debate has been canceled. In lieu of the debate, former Vice President Joe Biden and Trump will air a live town hall at the same time on competing networks, with some on Twitter blasting NBC for hosting the upcoming Thursday (Oct. 15) event.
The news of Trump shifting gears to host an outdoor town hall with NBC News came this morning during a Today show broadcast.
“The event is set to take place outdoors and in accordance with the guidelines set forth by health officials, also consistent with all government regulations,” Hoda Kotb said on Today Wednesday morning.
Savannah Guthrie will moderate Trump’s town hall and she’ll sit 12 feet opposite of the former business mogul, who has reportedly been cleared of infection by medical staff although some questioned the validity of the statements. Attendees of the town hall will be required to wear masks for the event.
Shortly after Trump backed out of the virtual debate, Biden’s team scrambled to get their event onto ABC’s network, sparking Trump’s side to do the same. If Trump’s decision to go with a competing town hall is a Hail Mary of sorts, that would play well due to analysts stating he’s behind Trump in several swing states in the polls and trails Biden by as much as 12 points nationally in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.
The Pew Center says that Trump still enjoys heavy support among white Christians but that his support is somewhat slipping. Polls are slightly unreliable due to their sample size and the margin of error but it does appear that Trump is fighting for a national platform to jumpstart his campaign.
On Twitter, the reaction to NBC hosting this Thursday’s town hall with President Trump has many ready to jump ship. We’ve got those reactions down below.
President Trump’s town hall airs at 8 p.m. ET on NBC News. Biden’s town hall airs at the same time on ABC News.