The first of three Presidential debates will take place tonight in Cleveland, Ohio, beginning at 9 pm. But heading into the first head-to-head debate, Biden is showing signs of weakness.
Biden’s campaign made a formal request to break the debate down into three 30-minute segments, allowing for two breaks. The Trump campaign denied the request, which was echoed by the debate commission; never in history has the debate occurred in more than one continuous 90-minute segment. There are no commercial breaks during the debates.
“Biden's handlers have asked for multiple breaks during the debate, which President Trump doesn’t need, so we have rejected that request,” the Trump campaign said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
Now, Trump’s campaign has requested ear checks prior to the debate - a request that was denied by Biden’s campaign. Debate rules require that neither man wear an earpiece at any point in the debate. Trump agreed to have his own ears inspected.
“Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves and declined,” Trump's campaign said.
Now, amid rampant rumors of dementia and an inability to focus, Trump’s campaign has also requested drug tests from both candidates. Biden’s camp has firmly denied that request as well.
“On top of the refusal to take a drug test, it seems pretty obvious that the Biden team is looking for any safety net they can find in the hours leading up to the debate. With his 47 years as a failed Washington politician, how much help does Biden want?” the Trump campaign added in their statement.
Biden's Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield spoke to reporters on Tuesday, insisting, “Of course he's not wearing an earpiece and we never asked for a break.” She did not comment on Biden’s health, and instead suggested that Trump was trying to “throw up distractions.”
Biden’s camp has had to deny allegations of Biden relying on a teleprompter during interviews on multiple occasions, as his public speaking performances range from excellent to downright nonsensical.
Should Democrats Be Worried?
Although he boasts a nearly 50-year career in Washington, Biden has little influential or successful policy to show for it. It has been said that he was chosen as Obama’s running mate mostly because he fared well with Black voters and posed no political threat to Obama. But perhaps Biden’s greatest strength has been his ability to debate - he is a talented public speaker under pressure. So should Democrats be worried tonight?
Biden is frequently misquoting numbers and is subject to violent outbursts when confronted about topics he is uncomfortable with. Trump’s campaign has consistently painted Biden as “not all there,” and suffering from mental ineptitude.
Trump, on the other hand, revels in confrontation. No topic is off-limits and he has no filter. He will say what he wants, when he wants. Biden will have to both keep up with Trump and attempt not to get lost in the details as the debate moves from topic to topic.
There is no denying that the role of President of the United States is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. In this first debate, Biden will be hard-pressed to prove to the country that he has the mental and physical strength to take on such a role. Only after that is established, can any real dialogue begin.
77-year old Biden has his hands full with 74-year old President Trump. The President speaks and carries himself like a much younger man. Tonight, voters can decide for themselves if Biden is any position to take him on.