Donald Trump and Joe Biden and the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates on Friday canceled the second debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden after Trump, and then Biden, backed out of the event on Thursday.

Why it matters: Trump first refused to attend the Oct. 15 debate after the commission announced that it would be held virtually, and Biden indicated that that he too would skip it if Trump would not show.

The big picture: Biden will appear at a town hall event hosted by ABC News in Philadelphia that day, the network announced Thursday.

  • The third debate is scheduled for Oct. 22. The commission said Friday both men have said they'll attend.

What they're saying: "The campaigns of the two candidates who qualified for participation in the debate made a series of statements concerning their respective positions regarding their willingness to participate in a virtual debate on October 15, and each now has announced alternate plans for that date," the commission said.

  • "Vice President Biden looks forward to making his case to the American people about how to overcome this pandemic, restore American leadership and our alliances in the world, and bring the American people together," Andrew Bates, rapid response director for the Biden campaign said.
  • "This debate commission, you know, it sounds so good, the Presidential Commission on Debates. So wonderful," Trump said on the Mark Levin Show on Friday. "No, in my opinion, it's a crooked deal."

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Ben Geman, author of Generate
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Trump reaches for oily lifeline

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President Trump's campaign is making energy policy a prominent part of its closing swing state attacks against Joe Biden — especially in Pennsylvania, a state critical to Trump's reelection effort where he's trailing in the polls.

Driving the news: Trump's efforts include a new ad in Pennsylvania alleging that his Democratic presidential rival would crush the state's gas industry, and his campaign has aggressively deployed surrogates talking about energy in recent days.

What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

New Hampshire paper backs Biden in first Democratic endorsement in over 100 years

Photo: Jim Watson, Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The New Hampshire Union Leader, the conservative-leaning Manchester-based newspaper, endorsed Joe Biden for president on Sunday.

Why it matters: It's the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat for president in over 100 years, after it broke from more than a century of backing Republicans to endorse libertarian Gary Johnson over President Trump in 2016.