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VP debate at Lafayette College officially canceled

Lafayette College will no longer host the vice presidential debate in September.

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced the event’s cancellation Monday, along with three presidential debates that were scheduled for September and October.

The cancellation comes days before President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to face off in the first of two agreed-upon debates, on Thursday, hosted by CNN. The second debate is set for September on ABC.

The status of the commission’s debates had been uncertain since May, when the campaigns expressed concern over the commission’s fall debate schedule amid the increase in early mail voting. The commission said the Biden-Harris campaign turned down its debates.

“It is unfair to ask the four campuses to continue to prepare for their debates, as they have been doing since their November 2023 selection,” debate co-chairs Antonia Hernandez and Frank Fahrenkopf said in a statement. “We are grateful to the sites, and we are sorry to come to this decision. We are dismayed that students of the four campuses will not have the opportunity to participate in these historic voter education forums.”

The three presidential debates were to be held at Texas State University, Virginia State University and the University of Utah.

The commission has hosted every presidential debate since 1988. It traditionally sets neutral rules for the debate and provides a forum for it that is broadcast simultaneously on all major networks.

Instead of being held at Lafayette, the vice presidential debate will be hosted by CBS in July or August between Kamala Harris and Trump’s running mate, who has yet to be announced. As with the two presidential debates, there will not be an audience.

In a statement, Lafayette College said it was “excited” to be selected to host the debate, a first for the Easton institution.

“Regrettably though understandably, the CPD has decided to cancel its debates, a first for the CPD since it was founded in 1987. Lafayette has enjoyed national and international media attention over the last several months as a result of the CPD having chosen the College as its VP debate location.”

Lafayette said it still will host a variety of “civic and artistic events” that had been planned to coincide with the debate, and details would be released later.

“The College learned a great deal through the nine months of working to prepare for the VP debate event and is well-positioned to host events of considerable scale and complexity in the years to come,” it said.

Source: Berkshire mont

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