Dueling Debate Prep: Biden to Go Into Hiding, Trump Stays Out in the Field

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

We’re getting ever closer to the June 27 presidential debate in Atlanta, and as each day passes, I find myself thinking, is this really going to happen?! Some pundits predict Donald Trump will pull out, but I don’t see it as such a move would be a tremendous loss of face, and he would gain nothing. 

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Biden, on the other hand… Can he make it through 90 minutes without cue cards, teleprompters, and Jill’s handholding? He’s exceeded expectations before—by exceeding expectations, I mean he didn’t collapse and fall flat on his face during his spiteful State of the Union address. If he even makes it to the debate finish line, our fawning national media will claim it was one of the great debate performances in history—regardless of what he actually says.

But how are the two candidates preparing for the big night? Not surprisingly, Biden is once again aiming to live out his Witness Protection fantasy and will largely disappear for a full week to get ready for 90 minutes in front of the cameras (and his nemesis, Trump).

Don’t expect to see a lot of mumbling appearances in the near future from the president:

To get ready, Biden is gathering trusted aides this week and next at Camp David, the mountainside presidential retreat, for several days of intensive discussion and preparation. The secluded complex of rustic lodges in Maryland has, in the past, helped focus Biden and his team ahead of important moments such as State of the Union speeches.

The preparations are expected to progress over a series of days, evolving from informal discussions about topics, questions and potential responses and culminating in more formal 90-minute mock debates. The president will likely be fueled by his favorite drink of orange Gatorade. (CNN debate rules stipulate that each candidate will have a pen, writing pad and a bottle of water at the podium.)

The White House is preserving the possibility that the president and his team could travel to Atlanta directly from Camp David, depending on how much practice remains.

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The man is completely incompetent, no matter how many advisors he meets with.


Related:

Here's the Behind the Scenes Dish on How Biden Might Get Out of Debates

Dangerous Debates: Trump Needs to Be Quite Careful


Trump, meanwhile, is known for taking a different path regarding debates, not prepping as much as some political opponents and relying more on his quick thinking on his feet. But he notes he faces more than just Joe Biden up on the stage—there will be biased CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash as well:

“I’ll probably be negotiating with three people, but that’s OK. I’ve done that before,” Trump told his supporters Tuesday at a rally in Racine, Wisconsin, referring to Biden and CNN’s moderators. “I’ll be debating three people instead of one, instead of one half of a person.”

The former president hasn't been idle, however, and has been meeting with aides:

Trump, meanwhile, has deployed the help of some of his top contenders for vice president, as well as senators, policy experts and outside allies, to help brief him ahead of next week’s debate. In recent weeks, Trump has participated in roughly a dozen of these private meetings, dubbed as informal “policy discussions” by his campaign, sources familiar with the sessions told CNN.

The subjects of the meetings have ranged from sharpening his messaging on the economy, the border and crime, to his views on abortion, the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine and how to best frame his May 30 conviction on 34 counts of business fraud, the sources said.

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I still don't know if I believe this debate will actually take place, but if it does, it could be a historic moment that could very well decide the future of this country. 

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