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Biden announces hundreds of debate watch parties while Trump hits the trail

Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald on

Published in News & Features

With just days to go before the pair of participants mount an Atlanta stage, the Biden-Harris 2024 campaign has announced it will host over 300 debate night watch parties and hold 1,600 organizing events in the days leading up to the event while President Joe Biden prepares for the meeting at Camp David.

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden will meet in Georgia on Thursday for the first of two debates scheduled in the run-up to their November election sequel, a pairing that comes as polling suggests the election could go either way, with both men deeply, but near-equally unpopular, and nevertheless at the top of their party’s tickets.

Biden’s campaign team, according to a memo they sent out Sunday, seems to think the debate will be their guy’s time to shine, providing an opportunity for the elder statesman to lay out differences between him and his opponent on abortion, immigration, and Trump’s stated plans for the U.S. economy should he win a second term.

Biden-Harris 2024 Communications Director Michael Tyler says “the choice the American people will see on stage between President Biden, who is fighting for the American people, and Donald Trump, who will walk on stage as a convicted felon” could not be more clear.

“On Thursday, the American people will see two distinct visions for the future on stage in Atlanta: President Biden’s vision, where freedoms are protected and all Americans have a fair shot, and Donald Trump’s dark “vision,” where he will serve as a dictator on day one, give tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy on the backs of the middle class, and rip away women’s rights,” Tyler said.

While Biden is huddled with advisors and debate preppers, Trump has been hitting the campaign trail and meeting informally with GOP heavyweights and potential VP picks.

During remarks delivered in Philadelphia on Saturday, Trump took aim at Biden’s debate prep activities, before suggesting the 46th President would need a drug “shot in the ass” and get “all jacked up” in order to make it through the debate.

Trump went on to attack the debate moderators, CNN anchors Dana Bash and Jake Tapper (or “Fake” Tapper, in Trump-speak), and claimed a still-standing gag order placed on him by a New York criminal court — ordered ahead of his conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying his business records to cover up hush-money payments made to a porn star — could interfere with his ability to answer moderators’ questions.

 

Trump asked the audience in Philly if he should respect the debate rules and keep quiet while his microphone is off or get rowdy while Biden is speaking

“Should I be tough and nasty?” Trump asked.

MassGOP Chairwoman Amy Carnevale said the debate will be a good forum for Trump, allowing him to speak his mind and giving voters a good chance to see the difference between the two candidates and to consider what a second term would be like under either man.

“For President Biden, I think competency is the number one issue for him. I think that he needs to show that he’s competent to serve another four years in office, because that’s the big question in the minds of voters,” she said. “I think voters want to see what both the candidates are going to do in a second term in office.”

Thursday’s debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. with no studio audience and will air on CNN. ABC will host the second debate, scheduled for September 10.

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