Donald Trump Pushes For Fox News VP Debate After Joe Biden’s Campaign Accepted CBS News Proposal

Donald Trump said that his campaign has agreed to participate in a vice presidential debate — but on Fox News.

His statement came a day after Joe Biden’s presidential campaign said that Vice President Kamala Harris had accepted CBS News’ invitation for a debate, either on July 23 or Aug. 13.

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In a message on Truth Social, his social media platform, Trump wrote, “On behalf of the future Vice President of the United States, who I have not yet chosen, we hereby accept the Fox Vice Presidential Debate, hopefully at Virginia State University, the first Historically Black College or University to host a Debate – Date to be determined. I urge Vice President Kamala Harris to agree to this. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump didn’t say anything about the CBS News invite.

On Fox News, anchor Bret Baier, calling this the “wild west of debate proposals,” said that the invite went out to both campaigns and confirmed that it had reached out to Virginia State University to host. The was set to be one of the venues set by the Commission on Presidential Debates for an event this cycle.

But Biden’s campaign, in a letter to the commission this week, said that it would not participate in the commission-organized events and instead was opting for earlier, network hosted debates. CNN is planning a presidential debate with Trump and Biden on June 27; ABC News is hosting an event on Sept. 10. Both debates are expected to be in studio.

The Biden campaign also proposed a vice presidential debate in late July or August, after the Republican National Convention. The CBS News offer seemed to meet their requests.

Baier, though, noted that Fox News had proposed a presidential debate of its own for October, and that Trump had accepted. But the Biden campaign quickly dismissed the possibility and accused Trump of “playing games” over the debate schedule. “No more chaos, no more debate about debates,” Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement.

Baier said that the network had proposed a vice presidential debate for July 23 or August 13 — the same dates as CBS proposed. Baier also said that the network proposed a time after the Republican and Democratic conventions. “We’ll see what else happens,” he said. “This is a strange dynamic in getting these things locked down.”

There is gamesmanship that continues around the debate, and Trump’s acceptance of a Fox News offer, with the added note that it would have an historic importance at an HBCU, undoubtedly was designed to put pressure on the Biden campaign. He also may have been irked by some of the punditry this week that Biden’s campaign had gained the upper hand when it floated its debate proposals earlier this week. Frank Fahrenkopf, the co-founder of the debate commission, told Politico that he agreed that Trump got played and that his decision to so quickly accept the CNN and ABC News debate may have been “one of the great blunders of this election cycle.” Trump’s campaign had said that he would debate “anytime” and “anyplace.”

Asked for comment on the latest Trump statement on the VP debate, a senior Biden campaign official pointed to O’Malley Dillon’s statement from earlier this week. And in her letter to the commission, she was critical of the idea of having a debate in front of an audience, while Fox News does not meet their criteria for a preferred host network. She had proposed only networks that hosted a 2016 Republican primary debate and a 2020 Democratic primary debate, something that eliminated Fox News and MSNBC from the mix.

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