Former Vice President Joe Biden’s supporters have been scrambling to refute claims that he is too afraid to debate President Donald Trump.
The Trump campaign and other Republicans have been calling attention to Biden’s minimal campaign appearances, suggesting in recent days that the master gaffes-man may need to be protected from embarrassing flubs and potentially devastating debates with the president.
The New York Times op-ed by Tom Friedman argued that Biden should agree to take part in a debate “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” during the event.
Trump has blasted Biden for remaining in his basement in recent weeks and even questioned whether the 77-year-old remains mentally competent to run the country. 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.”
“Two people see him a day, his two body people. That’s it,” McAuliffe reportedly said. “Let Trump keep doing what Trump’s doing.”
Others have also weighed in on the Biden-Trump debates scheduled for this fall. 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. Period! https://t.co/oEedbl4dwJ
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) July 9, 2020
Former “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley took some heat online as well when she questioned Biden’s ability to debate.
“It’s pretty sad that Dems don’t want Biden to Debate Trump,” Alley tweeted Thursday. “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
The pro-Trump actress defended her support of the president and her remarks on Biden as she sparred with several Twitter users.
Let’s see it..:) I like a good spar https://t.co/jv0gGwGIFt
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) July 8, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz weighed in with a blistering tweet suggesting “conditions” that the presumptive Democratic nominee could demand in order to go through with a debate with Trump. The Texas Republican proposed that the encounters “must occur in his basement” where Biden has been communicating for months amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Cruz also joked that the debates “cannot be televised or broadcast to anyone in America,” as he reacted to a New York Times story recommending that Biden not debate Trump “unless” certain conditions are met first.
Biden’s two conditions: (1) the debate must occur in his basement, and (2) it cannot be televised or broadcast to anyone in America. https://t.co/3lMA5zyv9R
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 9, 2020
Democratic political commentator James Carville jumped into the discussion in his outspoken style on MSNBC where he referred to the president as a “doofus dolt.”
“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,” Carville told “The 11th Hour” anchor Brian Williams.
“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.
“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.”
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