When it comes to this year’s upcoming presidential debates, at least one prominent liberal pundit has a simple message for former Vice President Joe Biden — namely, that he shouldn’t even show up.
Among those concerned about the prospect of Biden going head-to-head against President Donald Trump is Joe Lockhart, who suggested in a recent CNN op-ed that Trump is simply too deceptive for there to ever be a level playing field, as Breitbart reported.
Pundit: Debating Trump a “fool’s errand”
“Whatever you do, don’t debate Trump,” Breibart quoted the former Clinton press secretary-turned-CNN-contributor as warning. “Trump has now made more than 20,000 misleading or false statements according to the Washington Post,” he declared, adding:
It’s a fool’s errand to enter the ring with someone who can’t follow the rules or the truth. Biden will undoubtedly take heat from Republicans and the media for skipping the debates. But it’s worth the risk as trying to debate someone incapable of telling the truth is an impossible contest to win.
Lockhart reiterated that message during an Aug. 1 appearance in which he alleged that Trump “will take the truth and destroy it, and Biden will be in the position of correcting him over and over and over again.”
Lockhart isn’t the only one on his side of the political aisle saying Biden should skip the debates.
Liberal columnist Thomas Friedman gave the same advice in a New York Times piece last month, stating that the presumptive Democratic nominee should only debate if Trump agrees to real-time fact-checkers and releases his tax returns.
Pot, meet kettle
That Lockhart and Friedman would worry about Trump’s veracity is curious given Biden’s own well-documented history of difficulty telling the truth.
In 1988, then-Sen. Biden essentially had to drop out of the Democratic primary race when it emerged that he had plagiarized a campaign speech made by left-wing British politician Neil Kinnock and exaggerated his law school academic record.
His 2012 vice presidential debate with then-Rep. Paul Ryan (R) was also marked by multiple inaccuracies, including the claim that Obamacare did not compel religious organizations to pay for birth control.
Cognitive concerns persist
Rather than concerns about Trump’s relationship with the facts, the real motivation for encouraging Biden to avoid debates could be the very real fear that such events will expose the mental decline from which Biden appears to be suffering.
A recent poll from the Democracy Institute reported that 58% of voters believe the presumptive Democratic nominee is experiencing some form of cognitive impairment, up from 55% in the previous month, according to Express.
Though pundits on the left and even Biden’s own campaign staff may believe they can somehow keep their candidate off the debate stage and safety ensconced in a Delaware basement, American voters aren’t likely to let him off the hook so easily and will demand the transparency they deserve.