Presidential hopeful Joe Biden has reportedly committed to appearing at the rest of the presidential debates scheduled for October, despite the brutal slugfest that was Tuesday’s debate.
After the conclusion of Tuesday’s round of debate, many pundits and Biden supporters were calling for Biden to cancel the rest of the debates, but he appears to not be heeding their advice.
Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told reporters after Tuesday’s debate, “I don’t know how many different ways we can say it. Yes, we are going to do the debates.”
“I would imagine there will be some additional conversations [with the Commission on Presidential Debates],” she continued. “But yeah, we are committing to attending the debates,” the Hill reported.
Running mate Kamala Harris appeared to confirm Biden’s intention of staying the course as well, telling CNN on Tuesday evening that “Joe Biden’s never going to refuse to talk to the American people,” in response to a query about future debates.
Pundits on both sides of the aisle agreed that Tuesday’s showing was one of the more brutal debates in recent history, and former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs suggested that the Commission on Presidential Debates at the very least “outline a plan for how this is going to work going forward including cutting off mics for interrupting.”
Calls to cancel
Tuesday’s spectacle caused a number of prominent media figures to speculate that Biden could or should pull out of the next two debates, a notion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested even before Tuesday’s debate.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said on Tuesday during the debate that it was “the most chaotic presidential debate I’ve ever seen” and that it raised “a lot of questions about the future of the presidential debate between these two candidates.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised, by the way, if this is the last presidential debate between the president of the United States and the former vice president of the United States,” Blitzer continued.
Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote a similar sentiment on Twitter after the debate: “Dear Debate Commission: Fix the debate format (Penalty box? Mute button? Stun gun?) or cancel the next two,” accompanied by an op-ed explaining her position.
CNN analyst David Axelrod chimed in, remarking that “I have to say I don’t think the country is going to be yearning for another one of these, I think Biden has a decision to make.”
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was more forthcoming, witing on Twitter that “this is a disgrace, a low point in American debate history. There is no reason, not one, that Joe Biden should participate in another debate.”