Posted: 8:39 pm Sunday, July 31st, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
Donald Trump this weekend demanded new dates for this fall’s Presidential debates, accusing the bipartisan group that organized it of setting times that conflicted with pro football, and of rigging the schedule to favor Democrats and Hillary Clinton. The bipartisan group that organizes those debates rejected Trump’s charges and said nothing was going to change.
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
But Trump’s argument wasn’t entirely on point, as the debate schedule was set months ago by what’s known as the Commission on Presidential Debates, well before either party had chosen a nominee.
And on Sunday, that debate panel made clear it was not changing anything.
“The CPD (Commission on Presidential Debates) believes the dates for the 2016 debates will serve the American public well,” the panel said in a written statement.
Commission on Presidential Debates responds to Trump now complaining about schedule set up last year: pic.twitter.com/U32GAA6hNu
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) July 31, 2016
The schedule looks like this:
September 26 – First debate at Hofstra University in New York
October 4 – Vice Presidential debate – Longwood University in Virginia
October 9 – Second debate – Washington University in St. Louis
October 19 – Final debate – University of Nevada Las Vegas
There's football. But also MLB postseason games virtually every day in October. Finding distraction-free night for debates ain't easy
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) July 31, 2016
Trump also claimed that he had received a letter from the NFL complaining about the debate schedule – but that evidently did not occur.
Top @NFL spokesman tells me: "While we'd obviously wish the debate commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Trump."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 30, 2016
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.