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The Presidential Debates Are On, But Team Biden Wants Safety Nets

The Biden campaign is hoping to stage-manage the showdowns with Trump.

It’s election season 2024, but this year, presidential debates were never a sure thing. Given Joe Biden’s evident cognitive degeneration and a long list of policy failures that he and his White House staff can only tout as successes by making blatantly false claims, it really would have come as no big surprise had he flat-out refused to debate his opponent, former President Donald Trump. However, Team Biden has proposed two debates, one in June and the other in September. The Trump campaign has accepted this proposal. It was inevitable, though, that a few strings would be attached – and so the matter may not yet be settled.

The good news for Trump is that, unlike in 2020, he will get to debate his opponent before millions of Americans can take advantage of early voting. The timing of candidate debates was also an issue prior to the 2022 midterm elections. Mehmet Oz, who was running as a Republican for one of Pennsylvania’s US Senate seats, didn’t get the chance to debate his Democratic opponent, John Fetterman, until early voting was already well underway. At the time, Fetterman was recovering from a stroke that left him with cognitive and communication difficulties of his own. One could argue that if the two candidates had verbally duked it out in a televised debate before any Pennsylvanian got to vote, Fetterman may well have never been elected.

Strict Rules for Presidential Debates This Year?

There also had to be bad news, though. Trump is boisterous, brash, and a scrapper. He wants to interrupt and talk over anyone who is saying things he doesn’t like or doesn’t believe to be true. This is his nature. His ardent supporters love him for it, more moderate or centrist conservatives find it annoying, and, for Democrats, Trump’s bluster and bluntness can be added to the long list of reasons they despise him.

GettyImages-2153139564 Joe Biden

Joe Biden (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

This time around – if the Biden campaign gets its way – Trump will be prevented, well, from being Trump, during this year’s presidential debates. On April 30, Liberty Nation reported that more than a few people in the left-wing media are apparently feeling some trepidation about presidential debates between the two main White House candidates. They fear, no doubt, that Biden is simply unable to meet the challenge without compromising himself in the eyes of millions of American viewers. The gaffes, the often-slurred speech, the temper tantrums, and the seemingly unquenchable desire to tell fictional stories about himself give Biden-supporting journalists good reason to feel worried.

Liberty Nation predicted that, for these very reasons, any Trump-Biden debate would be carefully controlled:

“[Biden’s] undeniable cognitive decline in recent years renders him incapable of holding his own against Trump in anything but the most rigidly controlled and staged-managed event. The rules by which Trump might refuse to play are perhaps those these journalists hope would be put in place to make the debates as accommodating as possible to Biden. They would leave little or no room for mistakes on his part – or for any appearance that he is not up to the task.”

Biden at least held his own against Trump during the 2020 presidential debates. In fact, he claims he came out on top in both of those encounters. That is debatable – no pun intended. Whether Biden won or lost those debates is largely subjective. His supporters would say he won; Trump supporters, of course, would disagree.

The Biden campaign is reportedly demanding that there be no studio audiences for the debates and that firm time limits be set for candidates’ answers to questions and rebuttals from the other candidate. Additionally, they require that “a candidate’s microphone should only be active when it is his turn to speak.” The incumbent’s campaign wrote that this last condition would ensure that “time is evenly divided and we have an exchange of views, not a spectacle of mutual interruption.”

Another stipulation is that the debates are one-on-one, meaning independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. would not be allowed to participate. It appears, then, that Biden’s handlers are determined to protect him from having to make any unscripted remarks or being compelled to spontaneously respond to anything Trump says.

On social media, Trump posted, “Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!” Does this mean that he has accepted the Biden campaign’s conditions? We do not know for sure. Perhaps the Biden team thought that Trump would never accept the terms, giving them an excuse to avoid debating altogether. Maybe Trump thinks that he will come out on top, no matter what format the debates take. It seems quite likely that, muted microphone or not, Trump will interject during the debate as and when he wishes. One way or the other, this is sure to make for some entertaining viewing.

Read More From Graham J Noble

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