Joe Biden’s wife confirmed in a Fox News interview that he will go through with plans for debates with President Donald Trump, ignoring the advice of some political strategists and media outlets such as CNN.
“Oh yes, he will,” Jill Biden told Fox’s Dana Perino on Tuesday. “I think they’ve already, I think it’s three debates they’ve decided on. So yes, he will be there.” She added that her husband, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, will make up his own mind rather than being swayed by those who are urging him to skip the debates.
Jill Biden’s comments echoed those of Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo, who told CNN Monday night that the candidate has committed to participating in the debates. CNN’s Oliver Darcy wrote an article on the issue on Tuesday, headlined: “Right-wing media focuses on ‘imaginary controversy’ suggesting Biden won’t debate Trump.”
But it was another CNN piece just a week ago that fanned the flames of doubt over the debates, advising Biden, “Whatever you do, don’t debate Trump.” CNN contributor Joe Lockhart, formerly press secretary for President Bill Clinton, was interviewed on the network Saturday to expound on his reasons for advising Biden to skip the debates.
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Other media outlets, such as the New York Times and Newsweek, have given Biden the same advice in recent days. There have been other such articles and opinion pieces, including a July 7 New York Times column suggesting that Biden take part in the debates only if Trump releases his tax returns to the public and agrees to have real-time fact checkers report on misleading statements during the events.
For his part, Trump wants to have more than three debates and would like some to take place before early voting begins, according to his campaign manager, Bill Stepien. Trailing Biden in the polls, the president is looking to make up ground in the debates, apparently hoping to demonstrate his rival’s supposed declining cognitive abilities, which have become a common angle of attack during his reelection bid.
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