The Commission on Presidential Debates signaled Sunday that it does not intend to reschedule the upcoming presidential debates, despite complaints from Republican nominee Donald Trump about conflicts with NFL football.
“It is impossible to avoid all sporting events, and there have been nights on which debates and games occurred in most election cycles,” the commission said in a statement. “A debate has never been rescheduled as a result.”
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 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.
“As a point of reference, in a four-year period, there are four general election debates (three presidential and one vice presidential) and approximately 1000 NFL games.
“The CPD selects the debate dates a year in advance in order for the television networks to have maximum lead time and predictability in scheduling these extremely important civic education forums. The CPD believes the dates for the 2016 debates will service the American public well.”
“While we’d obviously wish the Debate Commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Mr Trump,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy tweeted Saturday in response to Politico’s Alex Weprin and the Associated Press’ Mike Sisak.