Biden Begins Ramping Up Debate Preparations

WILMINGTON, DE - JULY 28:  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center, on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden addressed the fourth component of his “Build Back Better” economic recovery plan for working families, how his plan will address systemic racism and advance racial economic equity in the United States.  (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the William Hicks Anderson Community Center on July 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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September 23, 2020 12:45 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday that he has started getting ready for the first of three presidential debates — set to kick off next week — and will dig deeper into those preparations on Thursday.

“I’ve started to prepare but I haven’t really gotten into it heavily,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday. “I will, beginning tomorrow.”

At a fundraiser earlier this month, Biden said he was eager to engage. “I’m looking forward to getting on the debate stage with Trump and holding him accountable. I think I know how to handle bullies — we’ll find out,” the former vice president told supporters, according to NBC.

President Donald Trump, for his part, told Fox News in an interview last week that he “sort of” prepares every day for his face-off with Biden “by just doing what I’m doing” — traveling and delivering speeches at rallies around the country. 

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said at a virtual Biden fundraiser last week that Trump’s debate style when he faced her in 2016 wasn’t to engage on issues; instead, she said, “he came prepared to insult, to bully, to loom over with his presence.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), remarking on Trump’s “disgraceful” treatment of Clinton, said late last month that she didn’t think Biden should “dignify” Trump with a debate.

“I do not think the President of the United States has comported himself in a way that has any association with the truth, evidence, data, and facts,” Pelosi said at the time. “I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.”

The first 90-minute debate, slotted for Sept. 29, will be moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and is expected to include 15-minute segments on an array of topics: the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and policing, election integrity and both candidates’ records.

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