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How Trump and Biden are preparing for their first debate



For President Trump, the preparation of the debate looks very different from that of 2016, when he hosted hour-long debate sessions with a group of campaign advisors led by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Towards his first debate On Tuesday with Joe Biden, he gave up traditional formal rehearsals and scripted practices. Now, Trump’s senior campaign adviser Jason Miller and President’s adviser Hope Hicks provide the president with flash cards and videos between Air Force One stops to prepare. Tuesday night.

Mr. Trump has often cited his study of the Democratic presidential candidate. “I don̵

7;t want to watch, but I have an obligation, you know. I’m competing with someone. You don’t want to compete with someone and say, I won’t watch my competition,” said Trump supporters at an airport hangar rally in Bemidji, Minnesota. , last week.

And while some are concerned about the president’s lack of preparation, his advisers point out that he is an “atypical candidate” and say his near-daily press availability and often “hostile” interactions with reporters are preparing him.

“The president prepares by being president,” Tim Murtaugh told CBS News. “And dealing with hostile media regularly. This is good practice in every respect.” The president’s spokesperson added that while President Trump’s ABC News City Hall last month advertised questions from “uncommitted” voters, the president was pressured. “He had to deal with a rigorous and challenging question, I think, to put it mildly. It was good discussion training.”

“I think it was great,” Trump told supporters gathered in Minnesota on September 18. “I think it worked great,” he noted. “Do you know what I call him?” Preparation for debate “. I call it ‘preparation for free debate’.”

On Sunday, Trump said a “combination” of Christie and Giuliani plays Biden in preparing for the debate. But, Trump added, answering journalists’ questions may be preparation for the debate.

“I think this whole thing is preparation for debate,” Mr. Trump said at a White House press conference on Sunday. “You know, what I do is prepare the debate. Every day, as time goes by, I take questions from you.”

For Biden, the preparation of the debate took place both in person at his Delaware home and virtually, in confusion with longtime consultants and senior campaign officials, according to a campaign source familiar with the strategy.

Democrats are looking at the president’s near-daily tweets about Biden, his background, and his family as examples of the kind of attacks they think the president will focus on.

“People know the president is a liar,” Biden said in an interview with MSNBC on Saturday. “He doesn’t know how to argue the facts, because he’s not that smart.”

“He doesn’t know many facts. He doesn’t know much about foreign policy. He doesn’t know much about domestic politics. He doesn’t know much about the details,” Biden added.

For their part, the campaign believes Tuesday’s topics of debate – most notably, COVID-19, race and violence in cities, and electoral integrity – allow Biden to highlight what he considers the president’s most serious missteps. He is expected to rearrange the criticism of the Trump administration he has used in recent months.

Biden should also defend the Affordable Care Act and link his fate, in part, to the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, as Democrats view the candidate as potentially hostile to the Obama-era health plan.

Top advisers are also trying to warn the former vice president against venturing “into the weeds” of a complex politics as he was inclined to do during the election campaign and previous primary debates, the campaign source said.

This focus on staying in the message may already be on display when Biden in Delaware made remarks on the Supreme Court Sunday and a reporter asked him if he was inclined to expand the high court.

“What I’m not going to do is play the Trump game, which is a good game that plays – take your eyes off the problem before we do. If you were to say yes or no, it becomes a big deal. The title here,” he said. Biden, “I am focused on one thing right now, and I mean it: I focus on making sure the American people understand that they have been barred from this process … in order to take away the ACA and your assistance. in the midst of a pandemic. This is the goal. ”

For months, Trump’s surrogates and campaign advisors have been playing down Biden’s abilities for months, even running ads exposing his mental decline and coining the phrase “slow Joe.” Now, they’re trying to raise Biden’s expectations coming Tuesday.

“People have to remember that Biden has been a Washington politician for 47 years and has spent decades in the Senate where all they do is argue,” Murtaugh said. “In the Democratic primary, he engaged in 11 debates and managed to defeat two dozen challengers. So, Joe Biden is a guy who knows his way around the debate stage.”

Asked about the campaign’s frequent assessment that Joe Biden performs underperforming conversational situations, Murtaugh added: “I think there is no doubt that anyone who watches knows that Joe Biden is sometimes confused, but he is also able to activate it when the time demands it. And that’s what we expect it will do during the evening of the debate. ”

“Maybe he’ll be good at the debate. You know he’s been doing it for 47 years,” President Trump told supporters Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida, echoing his campaign. “Someone said,” Oh, it won’t do well in the debate. “I said,” I think you’re wrong. It’ll be fine. It’ll be fine”.

Both campaigns are already accusing their opponent of lying, even before the debate has started.

“In terms of what he is doing to prepare for the debate, he is preparing for the debate. And he looks forward to being on stage with Donald Trump next week to lay out his vision for the country and to retain Donald Trump. responsible for the ways it has disappointed this country, “Biden Deputy Campaign Director Kate Bedingfield said at a press conference Thursday, in response to a question about debate preparation and strategy. “As for how the moderator chooses to arbitrate the debate, of course you know our hope is that he holds Donald Trump accountable for the things he says are simply lies and lies. But it will be up to the moderator, and we’ll see what. decides to do “.

Trump’s campaign aides also told CBS News that they have studied Biden’s habits and trends, reviewing previous debate tapes to build an “arsenal” that the president will use when he takes the stage Tuesday night.

“Yes, we are gearing up to expose all of Biden’s lies and misinformation,” a senior campaign contributor told CBS News. “We have a lot of content ready to go.”


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