House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday ripped President Donald Trump’s debate performance earlier this week, saying it demonstrated that the President has “no respect for the office he holds.”
Pelosi chastised Trump’s refusal on Tuesday to condemn white supremacists, a move that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers criticized.
“What we saw that night was authenticity on both sides of the stage,” Pelosi said. “The President, authentically a bully. Joe Biden, authentically a decent person, who cares about America’s working families.”
.@SpeakerPelosi: "The night of the debate you saw what keeps me up at night."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 1, 2020
The speaker suggested that the President’s behavior during the debate debased a forum that was intended to be a rigorous “exchange of ideas.”
“This is something quite different,” Pelosi said, accusing President Trump of “undermining our institutions, undermining our democracy.”
In August, Pelosi had advised against Biden debating Trump, saying that the Democratic nominee shouldn’t “dignify” a debate with the President because he had little respect for facts.
“They are not supposed to be about skulduggery on the part of somebody who has no respect for the office he holds, much less the democratic process,” Pelosi said at the time.
During an MSNBC interview on Wednesday, Pelosi had called Trump’s debate performance a “political nervous breakdown, a meltdown.”
A number of Trump allies and aides appear to agree with that assessment, suggesting that Trump’s strategy on Tuesday only weakened his campaign against Biden.