President Trump has pointed out rival Joe Biden’s refusal to be drug-tested before Tuesday’s debate, after accusing him of doping.
Meanwhile, pundits are ramping up calls to cancel the debate altogether
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Trump speculated on the Democrat’s sobriety on Monday in a twitter post saying: “Joe Biden just announced that he will not agree to a Drug Test” adding “Gee, I wonder why?“
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RT reports: After weeks of suggesting Biden was taking performance-enhancing drugs, Trump tweeted on Sunday that he would be “strongly demanding” the Democrat take a drug test before the first presidential debate on Tuesday – also volunteering to take one himself.
Biden’s “Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly,” the president observed, wondering whether “only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???”
While Biden and his campaign had largely avoided responding to the president’s needling on the drug question, the campaign finally lashed out on Sunday evening through MSNBC, slamming Trump’s “attempts to make up a drug test policy for the upcoming presidential debate.”
Biden “intends to deliver his debate answers in words. If the president thinks his best case is made in urine he can have at it,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in the statement, piling on the pee puns as she accused Trump of “piss[ing] away the chance to protect the lives of 200K Americans when he didn’t make a plan to stop Covid-19.”
The candidate himself has avoided publicly addressing the matter, brushing off a reporter’s question about whether he would take a drug test on Sunday with a “no comment.”
Meanwhile, Biden boosters from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to New York Times columnist Charles Blow have argued for calling off the debates altogether. In an op-ed on Sunday titled “We Don’t Need Debates,” Blow claimed Americans had already made up their minds as to who they were voting for and insisted the small fraction of voters who remained undecided were not worth holding three sure-to-be-messy debates for. While a Trump-Biden debate would be “even more useless” than most, Blow insisted that debates in general rarely altered the course of elections.
That might come as news to Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, who never really recovered from being called out for her record as California Attorney General by rival Democrat Tulsi Gabbard on the debate stage. Despite previously being praised for her debate performance – against Biden, ironically – Harris struggled to recover after the surprise attack by the Hawaii congresswoman and ultimately dropped out of the primary.
Pelosi reiterated her own argument against a Biden-Trump debate over the weekend, telling CBS she still believed Biden should skip the debates because Trump “has no fidelity to fact or truth” and – along with his “henchmen” – was “a danger to our democracy.” The California Democrat had previously called on Biden to cancel the debates in August, bizarrely condemning the spectacle as an “exercise in skulduggery.”
A novel argument for canceling the debates – not just for 2020, but “permanently” – came from The Nation’s Edward Burmila, who stated the debates were “pointless” and that watching them was a waste of time. Presidential debates, he claimed, were “an anachronism of a bygone media era” when voters were still relatively unfamiliar with the candidates. “At best,” they “add nothing” – and “at worst, serve as a venue for spreading misinformation.” If Americans don’t ditch the debates now, they’ll regret it, he insisted.
Biden has kept mostly to his basement studio during the pandemic, avoiding all but the friendliest interviews and declining to hold the kind of in-person rallies for which Trump is (in)famous. The Democrat’s critics have pointed to his isolation – as well as his apparent confusion and word-slurring during his rare press appearances – as proof of advanced mental deterioration, claiming he’s only being propped up with the help of strong drugs.