Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he has begun preparing for the upcoming debates between him and President Donald Trump, specifically by brushing up on Trump’s “multiple lies,” and proposed a “crawler” on TV screens to fact check.
Biden was asked during an event on reopening schools in Wilmington, Delaware, if anything could dissuade him from participating in the debates after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested last week that he withdraw to avoid “legitimizing a conversation” with Trump.
“I’m looking forward to the debates,” Biden said, adding that what would make it a “great, great debate” is if everything both candidates said was “instantly fact-checked by an agreed-to group of people” using a “crawler” on TV screens.
Biden conceded the idea “probably wouldn’t get very far.”
The subject of Trump’s mistruths came up again when Biden asked how he was spending his $364.5 million haul, which he said is being used to “counter the lies that are being told,” by “Trump’s campaign and the Swift Boaters out there, the new PAC.”
Biden also clarified remarks he made in August about a possible national mask mandate, noting that he doesn’t know whether an executive order would be constitutional and that he would instead “put pressure” on state and local officials, as well as business owners, to require masks.
Biden also weighed in on Trump’s surprise visit to Walter Reed in November – which the president denied was due to a “series of mini-strokes” – saying that while he’s “not gonna speculate,” it serves an example of how “nothing this administration does is normal.”
Biden harshly criticized Trump in his remarks, particularly over his handling of the pandemic. “If President Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on in this crisis, American schools would be open and they’d be open safely,” Biden asserted, also accusing Trump of “inciting violence in our streets” and telling him to “get off Twitter.”
The Trump campaign took aim at Biden for rarely fielding questions from reporters. “This makes two press conferences in a row where Joe Biden took questions from a pre-selected list of reporters—the last one being 36 days ago,” tweeted Trump campaign rapid response staffer Jake Schneider. GOP rapid response director Steve Guest noted that one reporter told Biden “we don’t see you that often.”
What To Watch For
The Commission on Presidential Debates on Wednesday announced the moderators for the three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate in the run up to November. Fox News Host Chris Wallace will moderate the first debate on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully will moderate the second on Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, and NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker will moderate the third on Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. The vice presidential debate will take place on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will be moderated by USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page.
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