Biden Now Says He Will Debate President Trump

On Friday, a softball interview between Joe Biden and once-described “shock jock” turned progressive activist Howard Stern took an unexpected turn. Surprisingly, Biden expressed his willingness to engage President Donald Trump in a general election debate. For his part, President Trump has repeatedly challenged the previously unwilling Biden debates as soon as possible under any reasonable terms.

When Stern asked him about it on Friday, Biden said, “I am, somewhere. I don’t know when, but I’m happy to debate him.” Until now, Biden has been non-committal and vague, claiming he would agree to a debate depending on “Trump’s conduct,” whatever that means.

Trump responded promptly on his social media platform, Truth Social, mocking Biden’s tentative commitment and proposing a spontaneous debate at a courthouse in New York City. This bold challenge underscores Trump’s tactic of portraying Biden as hesitant and unprepared. “Everyone knows he doesn’t really mean it, but in case he does, I say, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, ANYPLACE,” Trump declared.

Conservative commentators and social media echoed Trump’s skepticism about Biden’s declaration, suggesting that Biden’s handlers might be uneasy with his willingness to debate. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro sarcastically remarked on X, formerly Twitter: “Biden weakly answers Howard Stern that he will debate Trump, HA! Guess his aides couldn’t stop Biden before he answered.”

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has not officially announced any debate plans. The comment seems to have been an off-the-cuff response rather than a formal agreement approved by the people actually running Biden’s campaign — and probably his administration as well.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has tentatively scheduled three debates for the upcoming election. Trump’s campaign has requested more than three debates to be held as early as possible, so that voters will have ample time to evaluate their respective positions. Many conservative analysts have said it is likely that Biden will only agree to tightly formatted and managed debates deep in the election season — after early voting and the mail-in ballots relied upon heavily by Democrats have gotten underway.

Meanwhile, by positioning himself as ready and available, Trump aims to paint Biden as reluctant and unprepared, which could resonate with voters concerned about leadership and decisiveness.

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