WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden will compete for TV audiences in dueling town halls on Thursday night instead of meeting face-to-face for their second debate as originally planned.
The two will take questions in different cities on different networks: Trump on NBC from Miami, Biden on ABC from Philadelphia.
The town halls offer a different format for the two candidates to present themselves to voters, after the two held a chaotic and combative first debate late last month. But Trump, speaking on Fox Business on Thursday morning, launched early attacks on Biden, calling him “mentally shot,” a “liar” and a “corrupt politician.” He also said he had no plans to change his tone going forward.
“Many people said I won it, but some people said I was rude. But you have to be rude,” Trump said of the last debate. “The guy’s a liar.”
He also preemptively attacked NBC, charging that it went easy on Biden in a recent interview and asked questions geared for a child.
Trump said NBC asked him to do the town hall.
“It’s a different audience and it’s good for me to have a different audience,” he said.
As the pace of the campaign speeds up in its final weeks, the two candidates first are taking care of other electoral necessities Thursday: Trump has a midday rally in battleground North Carolina, and Biden is raising campaign cash at a virtual event.