In a pointed letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien accused the members of the board of protecting Joe Biden from uncomfortable questions about Ukraine by eliminating the “foreign policy” topic from Thursday’s upcoming debate.
“We write with great concern over the announced topics for what was always billed as the ‘Foreign Policy Debate’ in the series of events agreed to by both the Trump campaign and Biden campaign many months ago,” Stepien wrote. “The topics announced by moderator Kristen Welker (Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, and Leadership) are serious and worthy of discussion, but only a few of them even touch on foreign policy.
“Indeed, almost all of them were discussed at length during the first debate won by President Trump over moderator Chris Wallace and candidate Joe Biden,” he continued. “As is the long-standing custom, and as had been promised by the Commission on Presidential Debates, we had expected that foreign policy would be the central focus of the October 22 debate. We urge you to recalibrate the topics and return to subjects which had already been confirmed.”
We have to concur, and not just because of the obvious efforts on the part of Welker and the Debate Commission to avoid the Ukrainian topic – a gambit that is unlikely to work in the first place. Foreign policy is one of the most important subjects upon which to decide on a presidential candidate. Foreign policy is, indeed, the chief domain of the President of the United States – the issue over which he enjoys more autonomy and power than any other realm. If there were any one subject that deserves more focus than the rest, this is it. For Welker and her NBC cohorts to decide that we can skip over that in favor of ambiguous topics like “American families”? No good.
“We understand that Joe Biden is desperate to avoid conversations about his own foreign policy record, especially since President Trump has secured historic peace agreements among Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain,” Stepien wrote. “We recall that Biden’s former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, maintains that Biden has been ‘wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.’ Biden has supported endless wars and given aid and comfort to our adversaries, including Iran, which was delivered pallets loaded with mountains of cash just as four Americans were released from captivity in Tehran.”
Biden, we’re sure, is also eager to avoid any discussion of China, Islamic terrorism, and particularly his role in discouraging President Obama to send Seal Team 6 in after Osama bin Laden.
Given that the Debate Commission announced Monday that they would cut the microphone of any candidate who spoke past their allotted time, it would not shock us if Trump decides to pull out of this final debate altogether. After all, if this is just going to be an excuse for Welker and Biden to team up on him for 90 minutes, what’s the point?