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Why Trump might opt out of debating Biden

May 6

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As President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump inch closer to being their parties’ official presidential nominees, many are wondering if they will debate each other. Trump said he will debate, even suggesting they do it at the Manhattan courthouse where he is dealing with his hush money trial. Biden also committed when asked about debates on “The Howard Stern Show.”

“I am, somewhere,” Biden said. “I don’t know when, but I’m happy to debate him.”

David Pakman hopes they will debate, but he’s not entirely sure it will happen. Pakman thinks Trump might find a way out by refusing the conditions set by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

On the one hand, you have some Trump supporters saying Biden’s definitely not going to debate. Why? Because he can’t handle it. he’s demented, he doesn’t know what day it is, he doesn’t know what time it is. He doesn’t know that he’s running for president. He doesn’t know anything. He’s essentially an empty body unable of any thought. This was what they said, by the way, in 2020, and then Biden showed up and debated Trump and did completely fine. It wasn’t spectacularly explosive, but it was fine.

And they’ve said this many other times, including before the recent State of the Union address: There’s no way Biden can get through even a 30-minute speech. And the speech was like an hour and a half, and Biden was fine. And then they said, well, he was on some kind of drug, even though medical experts have said there’s not really a drug that would just like hide dementia in the way that these Republicans are saying. So a lot of MAGA people saying Biden’s the one incentivized not to do it.

On the other hand, there’s the question as to whether Trump actually wants to debate, because Trump, embroiled in multiple criminal trials, with mostly humiliations over the last several years to speak of and no accomplishments, and no interesting policy proposals that would materially improve circumstances for people living in the United States, with really nothing to show for himself, other than now 88 criminal counts against him and felony trials and being found civilly liable for sexual assault, which a judge said qualified for the definition of rape — he doesn’t have a lot to show for himself. So there are also those who say it’s Trump that actually won’t debate.

This summer at their respective conventions, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will officially become their party’s nominees, Trump, the Republican nominee, Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee. And the question now is increasingly turning to will they or won’t they debate, presidential debates go back a long time. This is part of the norms and traditions, the Republican and Democratic candidates debate each other, usually three, sometimes four times, maybe only two in certain cases. And it’s an opportunity to see them on the same stage, in different formats, some more conducive and some less conducive to real conversation. It’s not clear that there are going to be debates this time around. And what’s particularly interesting is that it seems as though not everybody agrees why there wouldn’t be debates. On the one hand, you have some Trump supporters saying, Biden’s definitely not going to debate. Why? Because he can’t handle it. He’s demented. He doesn’t know what day it is. He doesn’t know what time it is. He doesn’t know that he’s running for president. He doesn’t know anything. He’s essentially an empty body unable of any thought. This was what they said, By the way, in 2020. And then Biden showed up and debated Trump and did completely fine. It wasn’t spectacularly explosive, but it was fine. And they’ve said this many other times, including before the recent State of the Union address, there’s no way Biden can get through even a 30 minute speech and the speech was like an hour and a half. And Biden was fine. And then they said, Well, he was on some kind of drug. Even though medical experts have said there’s not really a drug that would just like hide dementia in the way that these Republicans are saying so a lot of Magga people saying Biden’s the one incentivized not to do it. On the other hand, there’s the question as to whether Trump actually wants to debate because Trump, embroiled in multiple criminal trials with mostly humiliations over the last several years to speak of and no accomplishments and no interesting policy proposals that would materially improve circumstances for people living in the United States with really nothing to show for himself. Other than now 88 criminal counts against him and felony trials and being found civilly liable for sexual assault with a judge said qualified for the definition of rape. He doesn’t have a lot to show for himself. So there are also those who say it’s Trump that actually won’t debate. Now, both have recently said, Sure, I’ll debate. Let me know when I look forward to it. I don’t know that Trump is going to accept the Commission on Presidential Debates as the arbiter. Now I want to remind everybody in general with how the debates work, the primary debates are organized by the parties, along with whatever media outlet they want to work with. So for example, the DNC and NBC News will partner on a debate. Those debates are not open source or for public domain. Copyright is held by NBC. And it’s organized by the party and by the network. Similarly, the RNC would organize one with Fox News or whatever the case may be, historically, the way it works for the general election when it’s the nominees debating each other. The presidential, the Commission on Presidential Debates, organizes them working with both candidates. They are open source public domain. And that’s why when you turn on the TV during these debates, it’s on C span. It’s on PBS, it’s on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, it’s everywhere with the same pool feed, because they are public domain debates of public interest. Trump has already started over the last several years to say this Commission on Presidential Debates is biased. It’s unfair, no, no, no. And that seems to be the latest attempt at getting out of doing it, because he doesn’t like who is organizing it. It is true that one of the things that the Commission on Presidential Debates requires or at least they did previously, and they probably would again, that if you are going to work with them on debates, you don’t do any unsanctioned debates. Trump, I think once unsanctioned debates, I don’t know what the terms would be the location, the host, the duration, the format, big picture, I always want to see debates, even though they are always underwhelming. And what I mean by that is the following. What I want to see our long form back and forth discussions, not where they scream over each other. So you can’t hear anybody, but where there is a real back and forth in terms of the ideas that are being presented. The format will often be like, Okay, you get 90 seconds, and then you get a 32nd rebuttal. And you get a 15 second rebuttal to that. We’re moving on. This is not a format that is conducive to any kind of real long form conversation. Now, by the way, if you are Trump and you think that Biden’s demented, and can’t string together more than just a simple talking point. You would want the longest possible amounts of time since it would expose Biden if you believe that he is unable to speak. Once again, if you watch the recent Howard Stern interview with Joe Biden 75 minute interview, open format where they talk about so many different things. My instinct is Biden will do that the expectations have been set so low, that Biden will probably do fine. So I want there to be debates. I question whether there will be debates. Let me know what you think.

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