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Donald’s debate dilemma: He’s his own worst enemy

Donald Trump seems confident he can’t lose in a debate to the man he calls “Corrupt Joe Biden,” a man he says is “the worst president in our country’s history.” . You cannot connect two sentences. ”

If they gave away a Nobel Prize for insults, President Trump would already be heading to Oslo to collect the award. But for those who think Biden should be removed from office, please give a reality check. Trump could be removed from office by the end of the two scheduled debates. There are many possibilities for him to lose to Biden, many of which will be due to self-inflicted wounds. We’ll be there soon.

But first, let’s acknowledge that the reason President Biden suddenly decided to debate Trump is because it has become clear that if he wants to win, he can’t run on his previous record. Too many polls show that voters don’t think he’s doing a good job. So Mr. Biden’s political team decided that his best bet for winning was to make the election a referendum on Mr. Trump, rather than a referendum on Mr. Biden’s record. He hopes the debate will remind voters of who Trump is and why they removed him from office in 2020.

This argument won’t make much of a difference to parties that made up their minds long ago. Trump’s supporters will vote for him even if everything that comes out of his mouth during the debate is not true. Biden may think Trump is an existential threat to the country, but MAGA believers think Biden is the real existential threat.

President Biden’s supporters will not abandon him, even if they think he did poorly in the debates. For them, the alternative is a nightmare. They are convinced that an unscrupulous and immoral man will end democracy as we know it. They will continue to stand by Biden even as he grumbles and stumbles in the debates.

That leaves voters who can be persuaded to choose one candidate or the other, moderate voters who are still undecided. These are the voters candidates are trying to gain support from. This is where Mr. Trump could and probably will get into trouble.

If history is any guide, Trump will be interrupting Biden all night long. Not only will he disagree with Biden on policy, which is his style, but he will come across as mean in the process. Trump might give a TED talk or teach a master class on incivility.

In general, none of these are acceptable to suburban women or college-educated floating voters. Even if it brings back memories of the drama and turmoil typical of the Trump presidency, it won’t help Trump, and if the race is close, he could lose the election.

President Trump also made the mistake of setting the bar low by saying that Biden was incapable of “putting two sentences together.” If Biden wakes up and is still breathing at the end of the debate, he could be declared the winner.

So will Trump lose? absolutely. His fans may love insults and interruptions, but what works well with the MAGA crowd usually doesn’t sit well with other parts of the country, especially moderate Americans. Meanness and meanness don’t sit well with them.

But a lot of it will depend on whether Biden shows up to the debate, a feisty Biden who gave a very good State of the Union address to Congress, or a Biden who seems too frail for another four years in office. Depends on it.

President Trump said he wants Biden to take a drug test before the debate to ensure he hasn’t taken any performance-enhancing drugs. He said that when Biden gave the State of the Union address in March, he was “high as a kite.” Of course he doesn’t have that proof, but that’s to be expected if he’s dealing with Trump. As my friend says, we’re not off to a great start, are we?

If the debates actually take place and Donald Trump loses one or both debates, it is not Biden who is likely to defeat him. That would be Trump himself.

Bernard Goldberg He is an Emmy Award- and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award-winning author and journalist. He is the author of five books and has published exclusive weekly columns, audio commentaries, and Q&As. substack page.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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