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Presidential Trump on the debate stage during his 2016 presidential campaign. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump campaign is taking yet another crack at the Commission on Presidential Debates in its unsuccessful push to move up the start of the general election debates — this time asking for a conference call with Joe Biden's campaign to at least talk about it.

Why it matters: The president's campaign team views the debates as the key opportunity left to sway voters before the November election, and given the anticipated surge in early voting, they want to give as many Biden-leaning voters as possible a reason to think twice before they cast their ballots.

Driving the news: Trump's personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, made the request in a letter dated Wednesday and obtained by Axios.

Details: It's the latest of several attempts by the Trump campaign to change the debate schedule.

  • It comes as Trump campaign officials are increasingly concerned about Biden's strong polling numbers, which they expect will get a further boost from this week's Democratic National Convention.
  • The debates are scheduled to take place on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Oct. 15 in Miami, and Oct. 22 in Nashville.

Be smart: There's no reason to think this will change. Rejecting an earlier Trump campaign request, the commission indicated it would only consider adding another debate to the schedule if both candidates were to advocate for the addition.

What they're saying: The Biden campaign referred Axios to its previous response, with spokesperson Andrew Bates saying, "Joe Biden will appear on the dates that the commission selected and in the locations they chose."

Read the letter:

Go deeper

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Pennsylvania certifies Biden's victory

Photo: Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday certified the state's presidential election results, making President-elect Joe Biden's win in the key battleground official.

Why it matters: The move deals another blow to President Trump's failed efforts to block certification in key swing states that he lost to Biden. It also comes one day after officials voted to certify Biden's victory in Michigan.

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.

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