Joe Biden is afraid to debate President Trump. He wants to stay locked in his basement bunker. He knows he can’t match Trump’s energy and spirit on stage with the country watching and the fate of the election at stake.
Or so you might think if you are addicted to the right media for your news. The reality is that Biden is quite willing to debate Trump this fall. In fact, his campaign has already agreed to all three debates with Trump.
But speculation on Fox News and other right-wing media has suggested otherwise. If you pay attention to this media universe, you know that the stories about Biden’s jump debates get totally saturated coverage. It’s everywhere. From the front page of Breitbart to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show to shows on the nation’s top-rated cable news channel.
In a statement Monday night, Biden spokesperson TJ Ducklo poured cold water over such a blanket. Ducklo told me, “Donald Trump and his Fox News allies have decided that an imaginary controversy over the debates will be their last attempt to distract Americans from the President’s disastrous response to the coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of 150,000 Americans. and left millions unemployed. “
Where it comes from
Yes, there have been a few NYT opinion pieces and brief discussions about why Biden should ignore the debates. Personally, I have never taken suggestions too seriously. We have always had the impression that these experts speak in theoretical terms. I would bet they even know what they are saying and recommending won’t come to pass.
WaPo’s Dave Weigel dismissed this nonsense in a single 280-character tweet: “The ‘Biden Wants To Cancel Debates’ meme is a TV invention. Biden accepted three debates, hesitated at a fourth. That’s all. ‘He shouldn’t argue unless…. ‘The takes are from people like Thomas Friedman, who don’t work for Biden. ”
Ironically, you will recall that not so long ago it was the Trump campaign that suggested he might not agree to the three scheduled debates. It was about the alleged mistrust of the Commission on presidential debates.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. Bill Stephien said on “Fox & Friends” Monday – his first TV appearance as Trump’s campaign manager – that the campaign wanted to see “more debate” and “sooner.” And Erin Perrine said on “The Story” that Biden was setting up a “trap” to avoid debate.
The coverage of these Trump campaign comments should really point out that only one campaign actually suggested skipping debates. And it’s not Biden …