Donald Trump is skilled at very few things, but one thing he excels at is using projection language. Just the other day, he made the unverified claim his political opponent Joe Biden needs to receive “a shot in the ass” to perform for two hours. He’s projecting every time he speaks publicly about the election results, so worried about being publicly humiliated by a loss of any kind, he’s already saying the election is rigged, and teasing the press by saying first that he wouldn’t, then would, accept the election results and agree to a peaceful transition of power should he lose.
But what Donald Trump is most afraid of is having to make a television appearance debating Joe Biden, where he’ll need to perform for 90 minutes without his devoted fanbase to egg him on. Biden is the more skilled debater, a fact even Trump’s own team has conceded, and their appearances at separate Town Halls earlier this month showed several drastic differences between the two when it came to listening to questions and supplying sufficient answers.
Despite bragging that he’s not going to prepare, and that he’d agree to a four-hour debate with Biden if Joe Rogan was the moderator, Trump is now in high gear with false claims now that the first debate is days away and he’s been rocked by multiple scandals in the last few weeks alone that he knows Biden can use as fodder against him. Biden has been enjoying a surge in popularity in the wake of Trump’s multiple gaffes, including his comments regarding the military and his behavior in the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.
So it should surprise absolutely no one when Trump started a new approach to attack the debate process. With once again no proof to verify his claims, Trump called into Fox News Radio and told host Brian Kilmeade he thinks debate moderator and Fox News commentator Chris Wallace is going to “go easier” on Joe Biden than himself. “Chris is good, but I would be willing to bet that he won’t ask Biden tough questions,” Trump said. “He will ask tough questions of me and it will be unfair, I have no doubt about it,” Trump said. “He will be controlled by the radical left.”
To his credit, Kilmeade took up for his colleague, telling Trump, “I will tell you for sure, he is not controlled by anyone.”
“We’ll see. Then he’s got to ask tough questions of Biden,” Trump said.
The translation: “Chris Wallace is going to answer questions I won’t be able to answer, but Joe Biden will, and I’ll be embarrassed on global television.”
Trump had already begun making demands and other outrageous claims regarding the three scheduled Presidential Debates early on in the campaign process, saying Biden would be “too scared” to show up. One of Trump’s biggest tells is how much time he devotes to a particular topic; the more he speaks to something, the more worried he is. Trump first began casting aspersions on the debate process even before Biden was the official nominee; he’s only ramped up the projection language since. As usual, he leans on his keywords (“unfair”, “rigged”) and repeats them until his fanbase takes up the same claims, and it becomes their version of the truth.
In these last few days leading up to the debate, it should be interesting to see what other narratives Trump tries, and whether or not he actually shows up on Tuesday, or if he manufactures an excuse to stay behind in the bunker.