There had been speculation in recent days whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would try to avoid the debates coming up in September and October. The idea was that Trump might be afraid of getting into the weeds over policy so he would find a way to skip the debates. On the other hand, the thinking was that Hillary might be ahead enough in the polls and decide she didn’t need to risk appearing in front of 75 million people giving Trump an opening. Today we have confirmation that both campaigns are fully committed to appearing in all three presidential debates.
From the Washington Examiner:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced Monday evening that the Democratic nominee will participate in the three presidential debates scheduled before Election Day, and dared Donald Trump to also accept.
“Secretary Clinton looks forward to participating in all three presidential debates scheduled by the independent debate commission,” said John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s campaign, in a statement.
“With so much at stake in the fall elections, she believes these debates will provide the American people with an important opportunity to hear from the candidates on issues critical to the country’s future,” he added.
In response, during a phone interview with Time.com, Trump said he would be doing three debates:
Donald Trump said Tuesday that he will commit to three debates this fall with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, but may try to re-negotiate the terms that have been agreed upon by a bipartisan commission.
“I will absolutely do three debates,” Trump told TIME in a phone interview. “I want to debate very badly. But I have to see the conditions.”
“I renegotiated the debates in the primaries, remember? They were making a fortune on them and they had us in for three and a half hours and I said that’s ridiculous,” Trump said. “I’m sure they’ll be open to any suggestions I have, because I think they’ll be very fair suggestions. But I haven’t [seen the conditions] yet. They’re actually presented to me tonight.”
As Trump notes, the moderators have not been named, though both campaigns have to agree on each moderator. Trump will get his say and won’t have to appear with a moderator he doesn’t think is “fair,” though Hillary will get the same option as well.
We should get more information in the coming weeks as the details are hammered out. As it stands, check out our complete presidential debate schedule which will include all updated information as it becomes available.