President Trump has reiterated his readiness to take on Joe Biden in a debate, but suggested that he expects the media to be slanted against himself in its coverage of the event.
“We want a debate, we’ve agreed. They’re making one mistake: they should have one of the debates before ballots start going out, the absentee ballots hopefully,” Trump said, speaking to Fox News on Monday morning.
“But we can see that Joe doesn’t wanna debate. But here’s the story: if Joe makes it through the debate – I think they’re an hour and a half, and I said only standing…the news will say ‘it was the greatest performance in the history of debating. He was brilliant, he was unbelievable, Joe Biden’. If he can make it off the stage and walk back unassisted, they will say it was the greatest debate performance in history. You know that, and so do I,” Trump added.
With the election now less than two months away, the Commission on Presidential Debates recently announced three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debates. The first debate is scheduled to take place on September 29 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
“I know all those people very well. You remember, I beat em’ all last time. I beat Clinton, I beat Obama. Everyone said ‘oh Obama got into the campaign.’ I said ‘so what?’ He worked harder for Clinton than she worked for herself. Obama was all over the place. I kept saying ‘this guy’s campaigning harder than she is.’...These are the same people we beat last time and they’re not gonna unite, because they can’t unite. They don’t know how to unite,” Trump suggested.
Trump went on to complain about the media'’s alleged favourable coverage of Biden, despite his unusually rare engagements with the press during the campaign so far.
“He doesn’t take any questions from reporters. I keep saying to my people ‘here I am having bombs thrown at me every day by people that are totally, frankly dishonest reporters…and good a job in handling it…but this guy doesn’t come out of his basement, and he hasn’t taken one question,” he claimed.
Pundits have picked up on Biden's rare public and media appearances in recent months, and pointed to his propensity to ramble or make controversial statements, such his claim that African Americans are 'not black' if they don't vote for him over Trump, or calling a reporter a "junkie" after being questioned about his mental state.
Biden handily won the 2016 primaries, taking 66 percent of pledged delegates and 51 percent of the popular vote. His main rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, won 27 percent of pledged delegates and 26.5 percent of the popular vote. Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, dropped out of the race in December 2019, before any primary elections or caucuses were held, and has no delegates.
According to the latest national polling, Biden has anywhere from a 4-10 point lead over Trump. However, polls also gave Hillary Clinton a 1-6 point lead over Trump in 2016, and proved to be wrong when it came to actual results due to America’s Electoral College system, which apportions votes to states, not the popular vote, to determine the winner of the election.