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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."

Go deeper

Biden outlines plan to reverse Trump policies on first day of presidency

President-elect Joe Biden at the Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will roll back some of President Trump's most controversial policies and address "four overlapping and compounding crises" in his first 10 days in office — the pandemic, the economic downturn, climate change and racial inequity.

Driving the news: The plan is outlined in a memo from incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain Saturday. Following Biden's inauguration Wednesday, he'll "sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises," Klain said.

Off the Rails

A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

President Trump was almost shouting. He directed his son-in-law and his senior strategist from his private quarters at the White House late on election night. He barked out the names of top Fox News executives and talent he expected to answer to him.

Jan 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pew: Biden to start presidency with strong performance ratings

Joe Biden. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden will start his presidency next week with relatively strong performance ratings, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

On the other hand: President Trump will leave the the White House with his lowest approval rating ever.