Bob Dole says none of his Republican friends on the presidential debate commission support Trump
Former Republican Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Former Republican Senator Bob Dole, the 1996 GOP presidential candidate, said he was "concerned" about anti-Trump sentiment among members of the Presidential Debate Commission.
On Twitter, Dole suggested that the commission was "biased" and might not treat Trump fairly.
The commission usually works behind the scenes, but the October 15 presidential debate was rioted by President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis.
Trump declined the offer of a virtual second debate and prompted the commission to cancel the planned October 15 debate altogether.
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Former Republican Senator Bob Dole said he was “concerned” about anti-Trump sentiment among members of the Presidential Debate Commission, the non-partisan organization that administers the debates each year in office.
Dole, who served in the Senate from 1969 to 1996 and was the GOP presidential candidate in 1996, tweeted that he was friends with Republicans on the committee but wanted to be impartial to Trump.
"The Presidential Debate Commission is supposedly non-partisan with an equal number of Rs and Ds," said Dole. "I know all Republicans and most of them are friends of mine. I worry that none of them support Donald Trump. A biased debate committee is unfair."
The Commission usually works behind the scenes and is rarely a hot topic in public. That year, however, the presidential debates were upset by President Trump, who broke the rules of the debate when he first met Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in Cleveland.
In response to Trump's coronavirus infection last Friday, as well as general concerns about others who may have had the disease, the commission changed the format of the October 15 presidential debate from a face-to-face to a virtual one, prompting Trump to stand up withdraw altogether.
"I will not waste my time with a virtual debate - that is not what the debate is about," Trump said on Thursday to Maria Bartiromo, the presenter of Fox Business. "You're behind a computer and you're having a debate. It's ridiculous."
Trump insisted on a face-to-face debate and the commission denied the request on Friday, canceling the second presidential debate, which was originally supposed to be held in Miami.
Bill Stepien, Trump's campaign manager, accused the commission of arriving at Biden's "defense by unilaterally canceling a personal debate" and called the decision "pathetic".
Just before the commission scrapped the debate on Friday, Frank Fahrenkopf, a commission co-chair, appeared on Fox News saying there was "no evidence at all" that Trump tested negative for the virus and insisted that a virtual debate would take place was the "safest way".
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