Washington: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he wants to “debate very badly” with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton but will first see terms and conditions of the three presidential debates scheduled for September and October.
“I will absolutely do three debates. I want to debate very badly. But I have to see the conditions,” Trump told The Time magazine.
Debate is considered the most significant part of the US presidential elections, which very often decides the fate of a candidate.
The three presidential debates scheduled this time are September 26 (Hempstead, New York), October 9 (St Louis) and October 19 in Las Vegas.
The one vice-presidential debate is scheduled for October 4 in Farmville, Virginia.
The non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which conducts the debate, had last September announced the dates, venue and terms and conditions for the debate. The format of each 90-minute debate has already been set.
Trump said that he had haggled with television networks over the terms of debates held during the GOP primary and might do so again.
“I renegotiated the debates in the primaries, remember? They were making a fortune on them and they had us in for three and a half hours and I said that’s ridiculous.
“I am sure they’ll be open to any suggestions I have, because I think they’ll be very fair suggestions. But I haven’t (seen the conditions) yet. They’re actually presented to me tonight,” he said.
Trump also said he reserved the right to object to the commission’s choice of moderators, which have not yet been announced.
“I’ll have to see who the moderators are. Yeah, I would say that certain moderators would be unacceptable, absolutely.
I did very well in the debates on the primaries. According to the polls, I won all of them. So I look forward to the debates. But, yeah, I want to have fair moderators. I will demand fair moderators,” he said.
Meanwhile, Politico reported that the Commission is preparing for a third seat on the podium of the debate in case any of the third party candidates get more than 15 per cent in recent national polls.