Will the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden come out of the basement to debate with President Trump? That in itself appears debatable. It is more than three months since Biden launched his from-home campaign in his TV studio in the cellar.
Many, including the president, are questioning whether the 77-year-old is mentally competent and capable of running the country. In 2018, Biden referred to himself as a “gaffe machine.”
The president’s approval rating has suffered under the heavy load of an economic recession and the pandemic, while Biden has happily stayed out of the limelight.
On Memorial Day, May 31, Biden reluctantly emerged from his cellar, just 72 hours after his catastrophic “you-ain’t-black” gaff. Wearing a heavy mask and shades, Biden reflected, “Never forget the sacrifices these men and women made. Never, ever forget,” as he laid a wreath at a nearby veterans’ park in Wilmington, Delaware.
Forget is something Biden does well, though, and pundits are beginning to wonder if he will avoid debating with the president. He is doing better in the polls without any confrontation.
Republicans and the Trump campaign hint that perhaps Biden is being protected from not just the CCP Virus by hiding in his basement, but can he compete with the president in a debate setting. There is nowhere to hide on national television, and every mistake is apparent.
In a New York Times op-ed by Tom Friedman, he put forward the argument that Biden should debate with the president. But “only if Trump releases his tax returns for 2016 through 2018” and that “a real-time fact-checking team,” be on hand at the debates to “report on any misleading statements, phony numbers, or outright lies either candidate had uttered.”
Trump’s campaign team called attention last month to former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who said in a video that Biden was “fine in the basement,” reports BPR. “Two people see him a day, his two body people. That’s it,” McAuliffe reportedly said. “Let Trump keep doing what Trump’s doing.”
Even the chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel tweeted that the “Left is terrified of Joe Biden coming out of his basement to debate” the president.
The Left is terrified of Joe Biden coming out of his basement to debate @realDonaldTrump.
But if Biden cannot debate, he has no business even running for President.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) July 9, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) couldn’t resist joining in, tweeting that Biden should demand certain “conditions” be met before entering any debate. He joked that any debates, “cannot be televised or broadcast to anyone in America,” and he should demand the debates, “must occur in his basement.”
Former “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley got a bit of online backlash when she questioned Biden’s debating skills.
“It’s pretty sad that Dems don’t want Biden to Debate Trump,” Alley tweeted Thursday, July 9. “It’s like saying ‘We know he can’t hold his own in a debate with Trump but could hold his own with world leaders and making monumental decisions for this country.'”
“It’s pretty sad that Dems don’t want Biden to Debate Trump. It’s like saying, “we know he can’t hold his own in a debate with Trump but could hold his own with world leaders and making monumental decisions for this country.”
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) July 8, 2020
Democratic political commentator James Carville told “The 11th Hour” anchor Brian Williams, “Tom Friedman is a very nice guy, he writes very well about climate. I like to read his columns. But he ought to stay away from writing about politics.”
“No, Tom Friedman is dead wrong on this. I’m sure that Biden people will be very well briefed to have the debates,” he added. “I don’t think Trump will show up. I don’t think Trump will get anywhere around a debate with Joe Biden. Joe Biden has debated some of the most articulate, bright, message-disciplined people I’ve ever seen in my life. So, I’m sorry, Tom, I like you, you’re a nice guy, but that was a waste of ink.”
“Of course, Biden wants to debate Trump. Trump is a doofus dolt. Biden debated Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, who’s the most on-message politician I’ve seen in my life, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar,” he said, adding that the former vice president “should debate him without condition anywhere that he wants to.”
“Joe Biden will trounce Donald Trump. What he needs is to be sure to get a picture side by side so you can see how fit and trim Vice President Biden is and what a slob that Trump is,” Carville said.
Trump’s incredible workload means he doesn’t have the luxury of time to hit the gym as he’s too busy looking after every one of us.
“Cometh the hour, cometh the man,” said William Shakespeare.
Nothing a few sessions at the gym won’t fix though, Carville.