Democrats Urging Biden Not to Debate Trump

(Mark Ralston/Pool via AP, File)

Democrats around the country have begun to pressure the Biden campaign to call off all debates with Donald Trump due to the coronavirus pandemic—they say.

In truth, the reason they don’t want Biden to debate Trump is that they don’t think Trump will play by their rules. The president would take over the debate and make it about what he wants, not what Biden wants.


Democrats are also worried about Biden’s mental stamina and his ability to remain engaged for an hour and a half during a debate.


Democratic strategists and supporters of Vice President Joe Biden are urging him not to debate President Donald Trump in the lead-up to Election Day, citing Trump’s publicity stunts and disregard for the rules in 2016. Meanwhile Biden backers, including some conservatives, applauded the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan for cancelling their scheduled debates over COVID-19 concerns.

Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart joined several Democratic Party strategists in bluntly advising Biden, “whatever you do, don’t debate Trump.” Speaking on CNN Saturday, Lockhart said Trump shouldn’t be given another platform which will enable him to “repeat lies,” which he said occurred in the 2016 debates against Hillary Clinton.

Trump has a knack for exaggeration and hyperbole that Democrats don’t like. It’s very effective in debates and Biden would spend most of his time on the defensive.


“We saw in the debates in 2016 Hillary Clinton showed a mastery of the issues, every point she made was more honest and bested Trump,” Lockhart told CNN. “But Trump came out of the debates doing better I think because he just kept repeating the same old lies: ‘we’re going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it,’ ‘we’re going to keep all those Mexican rapists out of the country,’ and ‘we’re going to make great trade deals’ — none of these things have come to pass.”

Campaign promises that don’t come to pass are not lies. They may be failures, but they’re not lies. The fact is, Trump is building a wall and has renegotiated NAFTA — both promises made during the campaign in 2016.

“Biden shouldn’t feel obligated to throw Trump a lifeline by granting him any debates at all. This is not a normal presidential election and Trump is not a legitimate candidate,” Petkanas tweeted last week, expressing his “opinion that no one asked for.”

Well, it takes a special kind of idiot to say that Trump is not a “legitimate candidate.” He was elected legitimately, has served legitimately, and is running for re-election legitimately. Not to recognize that is to substitute an alternate liberal universe for reality.


But the debates may be canceled anyway. Two universities have already canceled the events and while Case Western Reserve in Cleveland has agreed to host the first debate, no one can say what the situation will look like a month from now. Higher education may cooperate with Democrats and the media to deny Trump the opportunity to debate Joe Biden.

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