Youngkin slams Biden for backing out of debate at HBCU: ‘Can’t defend his failing policies’


Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) accused President Joe Biden of “turning his back on students” in backing out of a debate at Virginia State University.

Biden announced that he would participate in two debates against his rival, former President Donald Trump, instead of those moderated by the Commission on Presidential Debates, including one at VSU on Oct. 1. It was meant to be the second of three presidential debates in a series that the commission chose, including two other debates in Texas and Utah. VSU would have been the first historically black university to host such an event.

“The Biden campaign is refusing to participate in a historic general election presidential debate at VSU a great university and HBCU. Joe Biden is turning his back on students, Virginians and the nation because he can’t defend his failing policies,” Youngkin wrote on X Thursday. “Huge snub to VSU and the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Before the president announced he would not participate in the commission’s debates, his campaign chairwoman, Jen O’Malley Dillon, reportedly penned a letter listing gripes with the timing of the debates, among them noting that it was too late in the election year to hold debates. As a result, the commission issued its response at the beginning of this month.

“The CPD purposefully chose September 16 after a comprehensive study of early voting rules in every state,” it wrote in a statement. “In-person early voting in North Carolina does not begin until October 17. On September 16, the day of the first debate, Pennsylvania voters can receive, complete and return ballots at their county boards of elections. Every other state starts early voting later, as of the most recently published information.”


However the letter also accused the CPD of being “unable or unwilling to enforce the rules,” pointing to the 2020 elections, claiming Trump broke debate rules with no consequences and wasn’t tested properly for COVID-19 before the debate, as he was positive during the event. Over 73 million viewers tuned into that debate.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the Biden campaign, the CPD, and VSU for comment.

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