Biden plans to hold town hall without Trump

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FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives at Hagerstown Regional Airport in Hagerstown, Md., to travel to Gettysburg, Pa. Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, were scheduled to visit the Phoenix area on Thursday, Oct. 8, campaigning together for the first time since the Democratic convention. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(AP) — Joe Biden’s presidential campaign says because of President Donald Trump’s rejection of a virtual presidential debate on Oct. 15, the Democratic challenger will hold his own town hall event the same night.

Biden spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said in a statement late Thursday morning that the Commission on Presidential Debates should reschedule the town hall debate for Oct. 22. That’s the night a third debate was to take place.

The commission earlier Thursday had announced that any Oct. 15 debate would be virtual because of Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis. Biden said he was willing to abide by the format change, but Trump blasted the decision and argued without evidence that the commission was trying to help Biden.

Bedingfield said in her statement that Trump is trying to “evade accountability” by avoiding facing voters directly.

“The voters should have a chance to ask questions of both candidates, directly,” she said. “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.”

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