Topics for the second presidential debate have been announced by Kristen Welker, an NBC anchor who will serve as the moderator for next week’s event, and coronavirus, race in America and climate change are expected to be widely covered.
“Kristen Welker, moderator of the Oct. 22 presidential debate at [Belmont University] has selected topics: Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, Leadership,” announced the Commission on Presidential Debates in a tweet Friday.
The announcement follows a dueling town hall that President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden participated in from separate events Thursday night, in lieu of the previously planned presidential debate.
Both candidates received questions from viewers, though Trump’s event, which was hosted by NBC Savannah Guthrie from Miami, was met with conflicting reviews as the president experienced one of the most aggressive interviews during his presidency while Biden’s event was seen as soft in comparison.
“NBC is an interrogation. ABC is a picnic,” former White House press secretary and Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer said in a tweet Thursday night.
Others pointed the to time it took for an audience member to be able to ask the president a question, while Guthrie pushed back against Trump’s responses, at one point telling the candidate, "You're the president — you're not like someone's crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever!"
Trump dropped from the second debate after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the event would be held virtually in light of Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis – forcing the commission to cancel the debate and instead the candidates each held town halls.
Trump in turn told FOX Business that he was "not going to waste my time on a virtual debate."
"I am not going to do a virtual debate," said Trump.
Trump also went after NBC on Twitter the day of the town hall.
“I will be doing a major Fake [NBC News] Town Hall Forum, live tonight from Miami, at 8:00 P.M.,” Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Biden addressed Trump’s international standing, LGBTQ rights and announced that he would in fact reveal whether or not he intends to pack the court before the Nov. 3 election, though he added he is “not a fan of court packing.”
“But we’ll have to wait and see,” he said.
Biden confirmed he would be at the debate but thinks Trump should have to take a COVID test prior to the event.
“It's just decency,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
The second and final presidential debate before Election Day is scheduled for 9 p.m. on Oct. 22 from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.