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Even California Rep. Pelosi doubts Biden’s debate skills, his ability to handle Trump

Earlier this month, President Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to 19 recipients, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Vice President Al Gore, and Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky. Biden spoke briefly about each honoree, praising their “relentless curiosity, inventiveness, ingenuity, and hope.” President Joe Biden called Pelosi the “greatest speaker of the House of Representatives,” saying she “used her superpowers to pass some of the most significant laws in our nation’s history.” This move by Biden once again confirmed that he sees Pelosi as one of his closest political allies.

Supporting each other

During the ceremony, Biden praised Pelosi for “standing in the breach and defending democracy with her husband Paul” during the January 6 Capitol riots, an incident seen as one of the biggest threats to democracy in the history of the country. Pelosi, on the other hand, has been constantly supportive of Joe Biden as House Speaker. Even when Biden faced well-deserved criticism from the public and his political opponents for some of his moves as president, Pelosi always stood next to him.

Important figure

In 2007, Nancy Pelosi made history by becoming the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. She made history again in January 2019 when she regained her position second-in-line for the presidency—the first person to do so in more than six decades. Pelosi has been in Congress for nearly four decades, making her one of the most prominent Democrats to date.

Warning for Biden

“I myself would never recommend going on stage with Donald Trump,” Pelosi told CNN’s Manu Raju on Wednesday. “But the president has decided that’s what he wants to do,” Pelosi said. “I think the format he is suggesting is a good one.”

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Pelosi expressed concerns to Biden last Wednesday, just after it was confirmed that President Joe Biden and former President Trump had agreed to participate in two upcoming debates during the presidential campaign. Despite Pelosi’s usually close relationship with Biden, her apprehensions highlight the complexities of debating Trump.

“I myself would never recommend going on stage with Donald Trump,” Pelosi warns Biden ahead of two scheduled debates with Trump
President Joe Biden, credit: POTUS X account

The details

President Biden proposed two debates before the election, which Trump agreed to. They are scheduled for a debate on June 27, hosted by CNN, and another on September 10, hosted by ABC. The first debate is notably early in the general election cycle. Many Democrats support Biden’s decision to debate Trump. Insiders from the Biden campaign, speaking to The Hill, mentioned that the debates are a tactical approach to let voters directly compare the two candidates before making their voting decisions.

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Trump too good or Biden unfit?

Unlike many Democrats, Pelosi has voiced concerns regarding Trump’s behavior in past debates. For instance, during the 2016 debates, Trump was noted for physically looming over Hillary Clinton, the then Democratic presidential nominee. In the 2020 debates, he frequently interrupted Biden and the debate moderator, with reports at the time citing over 100 interruptions. Pelosi’s remarks, which critique Trump’s aggressive debate style, also suggest a lack of confidence in Biden’s ability to directly contend with Trump, who is known for his dynamic public speaking and presence.

“I myself would never recommend going on stage with Donald Trump,” Pelosi warns Biden ahead of two scheduled debates with Trump
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Credit: Pelosi X account

Pelosi suggests different formats

Pelosi suggested instead that networks hold town hall meetings to let the candidates make their cases to the American public. However, Trump had to agree to several conditions after Biden’s campaign set several demands one of which is a major one and could potentially benefit Joe Biden: No crowd!

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“Trump feeds off the crowd, they give him life,” Politico reported, citing one Biden adviser who was granted anonymity in order to discuss internal strategy. “We wanted to take that away.”

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