As November draws closer, many are looking forward to watching debates between President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
However, according to the Trump campaign, Biden may be attempting to leave himself room to wriggle out of appearing, as Fox News reported.
On Monday Biden campaign manager and communications director Kate Bedingifeld told Fox News that former Vice President Biden is the “one candidate in this race who has agreed to three debates.”
“The Trump campaign has actually not agreed yet to participate in the debates set by the presidential debate commission,” she continued.
However, during a subsequent Fox News appearance, Trump 2020 media communications director Erin Perrine pushed back on that allegation, insisting that “President Trump will be debating Joe Biden if Joe Biden decides to show up.”
“Kate left herself a little bit of a trap door there in not concretely saying Joe Biden will actually debate President Trump,” the Trump campaign representative continued. “She said he agreed to the debates but not actually if he would show up.”
“We need to be able to have that exchange of ideas [and] show the stark contrast that exists between President Trump’s America First policies and Joe Biden’s plagiarism and policies of the past,” Perrine added.
In fact, some high-profile Biden backers have recently been advising the former vice president not to show up to any debate againt Trump, with former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart among them.
As Breitbart reported, Lockhart wrote in a CNN op-ed last week that Biden agreeing to debate Trump would amount to a “fool’s errand,” as he claimed that the president is “incapable of telling the truth.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman offered similar advice in a piece last month, insisting that Biden should make debate participation contingent on Trump releasing his tax returns and agreeing to a panel of real-time fact-checkers.
Others suspect that the real motivation for telling Biden to steer clear of face-to-face confrontations with the president has more to do with his perceived mental decline than Trump’s relationship with the truth.
On Saturday, the Sunday Express reported that a poll conducted by the Democracy Institute found that 58% of voters think Biden struggles with cognitive impairment, lending further credence to the notion that the debate stage is truly the last place Joe Biden ought to be if he is to have any hope of prevailing this fall.