Will Trump participate in the next two debates? The White House won’t commit.

There are two more presidential debates left before Election Day, but now, after the debacle of the first debate — 90 minutes dominated by insults, attacks and interruptions by President Trump — everything seems up in the air.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, whose members were frustrated that its marquee event was widely viewed as a failure, announced that it would propose a new format before Mr. Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. meet for their second debate on Oct. 15.

That idea was immediately rejected by Mr. Trump’s campaign. “Joe Biden is trying to work the refs,” said Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for the Trump campaign. “They shouldn’t be moving the goal posts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

In 2016, Mr. Trump often used the threat of withdrawing from debates to inject an element of uncertainty into the process, especially when he was in a vulnerable position; He even floated the idea of a boycott in the run-up to this year’s election, citing his concerns about the commission’s fairness.

On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not respond directly when asked if Mr. Trump would commit to participating in the two remaining debates with Mr. Biden, regardless of the rule changes the commission might announce.

“He thinks the only way there’s a fair debate is a change in the moderator and a change in the Democrat nominee,” she said. “He wants to debate, he plans on being at the debate, but he wants the rules to be fair and wants a fair exchange and doesn’t want rules that cover for certain candidates’ inability to perform well.”

Things have been so unsettled that Mr. Biden’s aides felt compelled to respond to a wave of speculation that there would be no more debates, announcing that he was not backing out. Why should he? By every measure, Mr. Biden had a good enough night, and there’s little reason, Democrats said, for him to do anything that would make him look wavering and take the spotlight off a struggling Mr. Trump. What’s more, the next debate is a town hall event with voters, the kind of format that should play to Mr. Biden’s strengths.

But might Mr. Trump, who left the stage to withering debate reviews, decide this is just not worth it? Some Democrats suggested that was exactly the way to interpret the fast slapdown by the Trump campaign of the debate commission’s announcement that it was changing the rules.

“If you think that the president gained nothing but trouble from that so-called debate, it’s very easy to imagine him using the proposed rules change as an excuse to skip the last two debates,” said James P. Manley, who was a senior aide to Harry Reid, the former Democratic leader of the Senate.

Still, there are less than five weeks left until Election Day, Mr. Trump is trailing in many polls, and he is running out of opportunities — ideal or not — to

Read more

Rep. Kevin McCarthy: America, if Republicans take the House in November, here’s the agenda we’ll commit to

Americans will be voting earlier than ever in this year’s election.

Twenty-three states will be sending out mail-in ballots by September 19 and polling suggests a near majority of Americans plan to submit their vote as soon as possible. Say goodbye to the October surprise, Election Day is effectively here.

REP. MCCARTHY: DEMS WANT TO INFLICT ‘MORE PAIN’ UNDER COVID-19 JUST BECAUSE ‘THEY DESPISE’ TRUMP

As voters assess what Congress did for them over the last two years, the record of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic Party majority is abysmal. Among their most serious derelictions:

  • They orchestrated the most baseless, rushed, and partisan impeachment in U.S. history.
  • They support defunding the police, defunding border patrol, and shrinking our military budget.  
  • They obstructed financial relief for the American people throughout the pandemic, demanding passage of an unrelated liberal wish list instead.

It was this time two years ago Democrats promised their majority would serve with “a responsibility to seek common ground.” They did just the opposite.

Americans are fed up with politicians who say one thing and then do another. Instead of empty rhetoric, they deserve results.

We are announcing our Commitment to America with three specific objectives: restore our way of life, rebuild the greatest economy in history, and renew the American dream. 

Republicans believe our constituents have a right to know exactly what we will do if given the privilege to lead the House of Representatives, and we have a responsibility to tell them.

That is why we are announcing our Commitment to America with three specific objectives: restore our way of life, rebuild the greatest economy in history, and renew the American dream.

Without question, we must and we will defeat COVID-19 and keep America healthy.

To restore our way of life, we will work to triple rapid testing nationwide, deliver a vaccine that is safe, effective, and available by the end of the year, protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, and invest in therapeutics while lowering drug prices across the board.

Compounding the national challenge caused by the pandemic are the job losses and small business closures it has brought on across our nation.

To rebuild our economy, we will commit to get America working again and add 10 million new jobs through proven, pro-growth policies. That starts with $200 billion in forgivable loans to local businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. This program, which I call our Marshall Plan for Main Street, has already saved 51 million jobs and can still save more. Democrats’ continued refusal to pass more relief over politics will only take our economy backwards.

Beyond supporting existing businesses — which helped create the greatest economy in a generation before the pandemic — we will continue to bolster America’s poorest communities by making permanent Opportunity Zone credits, which generate $10 billion in economic growth each year.

But perhaps there is no more urgent post-pandemic undertaking than ending our dependence on China. This virus has exposed countless vulnerabilities, particularly China’s control of critical

Read more