Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti on Thursday said the presidential debates will have outsized importance in the 2020 election.
"This election will really depend more so than usual on the debates," Continetti said on Fox News’s Special Report. "Those will really be the one, or three, instances where we have both candidates in a traditional setting up against each other. The conventions don't matter as much. There's no campaign trail, rallies. It will come down, I think, to the debates."
President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden have reduced their campaign activities since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In that time, Biden has mostly made public statements through videos broadcast online from his basement.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump announced the cancellation of the Republican National Convention's planned events next month in Jacksonville, Fla. During the daily coronavirus briefing, he said the decision was made in the best interest of public health.
"We have to be vigilant. We have to be careful," Trump said. "And we also have to set an example. I think setting the example is very important. It's hard for us to say we're going to have a lot of people packed in a room and then other people shouldn't do it."
Trump said Republicans will still host the convention online and plan to put on something "very nice." Democrats have reportedly downsized their convention in Milwaukee to "almost nothing," and the reduced slate of speakers and events will be broadcast online.