Clinton Challenges Trump To Three Debates

Tuesday, August 9th 2016, 12:50 pm
By: News 9

Hillary Clinton is challenging Donald Trump to attend all three presidential debates that are scheduled for this fall.

"Secretary Clinton looks forward to participating in all three presidential debates scheduled by the independent debate commission. With so much at stake in the fall elections, she believes these debates will provide the American people with an important opportunity to hear from the candidates on issues critical to the country's future," Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement Monday.

Podesta continued by blasting the GOP presidential nominee for recently complaining about the scheduling of the debates and how they might conflict with NFL games.

"It is concerning that the Trump campaign is already engaged in shenanigans around these debates. It is not clear if he is trying to avoid debates, or merely toying with the press to create more drama," Podesta said. "Either way, our campaign is not interested in playing along with a debate about debates or bargaining around them."

Podesta pointed out that the three debates were scheduled by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates last year and he added that the Clinton campaign will accept the invitation to participate in all three.

The debates will be held on September 26th, October 9th and October 19th.

Trump complained last month that two of the three debates will be broadcast on the same nights as nationally televised NFL games. But in a statement responding to his claim, the commission pointed out that it's difficult to avoid scheduling a debate that doesn't coincide with any other major event.

"The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) started working more than 18 months ago to identify religious and federal holidays, baseball league playoff games, NFL games, and other events in order to select the best nights for the 2016 debates," it said.

"It is impossible to avoid all sporting events, and there have been nights on which debates and games occurred in most election cycles. A debate has never been rescheduled as a result," it added.

This comes after Trump skipped a GOP presidential debate in January during the primary season and instead held a veterans' fundraiser.

The single vice presidential debate between GOP vice presidential nominee Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is scheduled for October 4th.

CBS News' Hannah Fraser-Chanpong contributed to this report.

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