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'More Risky Than Not': President Joe Biden's Advisors Are 'Split' on Upcoming ABC Debate With Donald Trump

president joe biden advisors split upcoming abc debate donald trump
Source: mega

May 16 2024, Published 2:39 p.m. ET

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Axios political reporter Alex Thompson revealed that White House advisors are "split" on the sudden and unprecedented scheduling of the upcoming presidential debates between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

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president joe biden advisors split upcoming abc debate donald trump
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Donald Trump agreed to debate Joe Biden.

Thompson appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box with Andrew Ross Sorkin to discuss the upcoming CNN and ABC debates.

"I have to be honest with you. Basically, there are some advisers, and you saw Nancy Pelosi sort of speak to this yesterday when she said that she would advise nobody to get on a stage with Donald Trump, but the president has decided what he wants to do," he told the outlet. "Now, some of his advisers think he’s going to be fine, but there are definitely some people in the Biden camp that don’t see that, that basically see this as more risky than not."

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president joe biden advisors split upcoming abc debate donald trump
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Biden's team is 'split' on the upcoming debate.

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“Let’s talk about the idea of this even happening and the rules that have been imposed or not imposed on this debate. What are we supposed to expect?” Sorkin asked Thompson to kick off the discussion.

The Axios reporter answered, "Yeah. So a few important things. It’s not going to be an audience. At the moment, it’s just one-on-one. No third-party candidate. And the first one is going to be hosted by CNN, the second one by ABC."

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president joe biden advisors split upcoming abc debate donald trump
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Trump has been demanding a debate with Biden for months.

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Joe Biden
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"This is the earliest presidential debate ever, and not by a little bit by a long shot," Thompson revealed. "The earliest presidential debate ever before this was September 21st. So that means even the second presidential debate is going to be the earliest general election debate ever. And June 27th, what this allows the Joe Biden campaign to do. Let’s say he has a terrible debate."

"This gives them four months to make up whatever damage that may be done before Election Day," he explained.

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Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history.

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Sorkin told the reporter, "That seems like a very strange strategy, to try to do something, thinking you’re not going to do well. And then you have another chance at it?"

Joe Kernen, another CNBC co-host, pointed out, "He’ll be four months older, which matters probably at this time. I mean, we see every four months you could decline in four months when you get to that age, which was what we’ve seen in the past couple of years, right, he’s totally different guy two years ago."

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Thompson clarified that the Biden team believes it's a risk to get on a stage with Trump.

"Donald Trump has shown basically no regard for normal debate rules. You may remember four years ago, he likely had Covid and got on stage with Joe Biden," he explained. "So the Biden campaign does not trust that, Joe, that Donald Trump is going to be, you know, a rational or fair actor here."

"You know, basically by having it early is it’s a hedge on this bet. So, basically, Joe Biden wanted to debate. That’s the only reason this is happening right now," Thompson continued. "Joe Biden thinks that if he gets on stage with Donald Trump, it will rebound to his benefit, that it will help with some of these polls. And that is why this is happening. But it’s a hedge."

Mediaite reported on the conversation.

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