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‘Do NOT underestimate Joe Biden’s debating ability.’ Trump campaign warns


‘Do NOT underestimate Joe Biden’s debating ability.’ Trump campaign warns GOP ‘rested and prepared’ Democrat ‘is capable of hitting a mark’ despite president questioning whether he is ‘all there’

  • President Donald Trump’s campaign put out talking points in advance of the first presidential debate instructing GOP lawmakers not to underestimate Joe Biden
  • The memo pointed to Biden’s lengthy political career, that he’s ‘rested and prepared’ after debate prep and his successful DNC speech 
  • The note comes after Trump has called the Democratic nominee a ‘dumb guy’ and suggested that he’s ‘not all there’  

By Nikki Schwab, Senior U.s. Political Reporter For

Published: | Updated:

President Donald Trump‘s campaign put out talking points in advance of Tuesday night’s first presidential debate instructing GOP lawmakers and staff not to underestimate Democrat Joe Biden‘s debating ability. 

The Hill obtained a campaign note warning that ‘this may be where he shines,’ pointing out that Biden participated in 11 Democratic primary debates, two vice presidential debates, ran for president three times and spent 43 years in the Senate, the world’s ‘greatest deliberative body.’ 

The campaign is likely trying to increase expectations for Biden, who is also known to be gaffe-prone and who Trump has called ‘a dumb guy’ and suggested is ‘not all there.’ 

Democrat Joe Biden may ‘shine’ at Tuesday night’s debate in Cleveland, Ohio warned President Donald Trump’s campaign Monday, trying to increase expectations for Biden at the same time Trump has said the ex-vice president is ‘not all there’ 

The Hill’s Al Weaver obtained a document from the Trump campaign that contained talking points meant for GOP lawmakers and staff 

The memo told Republicans not to underestimate Joe Biden’s debating ability. ‘This may be where he shines,’ the note read  

The debate hall in Cleveland, Ohio is being set up for Tuesday’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden at Case Western Reserve University 

The Trump campaign points out that Biden is ‘very well rested and prepared,’ as the ex-vice president has mainly stayed off the campaign trail for the last several days in order to prep for the first debate. 

Trump, on the other hand, held rallies Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and held a press conference Sunday. 

He hosted a coronavirus event in the White House Rose Garden Monday afternoon, after having reporters attend a surprise event earlier Monday where he showed off an all-electric pickup truck manufactured in Ohio, a vital swing state – and where Tuesday’s debate takes place. 

Biden, on the other hand, visited Washington, D.C. Friday for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s memorial service and spoke Sunday about the Supreme Court. 

The president has mocked Biden’s campaign for calling a ‘lid’ as the debate approached, indicating to reporters that the ex-veep won’t be leaving his house anymore that day. 

Biden has continued to participate in interviews and host virtual events from home during debate prep.  

In the memo, the Trump campaign pointed to Biden’s Democratic National Convention speech in August, which received mostly positive marks. 

‘As we saw with the DNC speech, Biden is capable of hitting a mark and reciting rehearsed words,’ the campaign warned. 

Trump’s people also suggested that Biden would be named the winner – no matter what – by the press. 

‘The media are going to declare Biden the winner. We already know that,’ the campaign’s note said. 

That didn’t hold true when the last sitting president debated his rival for the first time. 

President Barack Obama’s first debate against Republican challenger Mitt Romney in 2012 was largely viewed by the press as a win for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who now represents Utah in the U.S. Senate.  

In 2016, Democrat Hilary Clinton was largely seen as the winner of all three debates – but Trump’s tactics were more memorable. 

He famously brought a number of women who had accused former President Bill Clinton, his rival’s husband, of sexual misdeeds to the second presidential debate to take attention away from the Access Hollywood tape, in which businessman Trump is heard joking that he could grab women ‘by the p****’ because he was a star.     


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