House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should skip the next two scheduled debates with President Donald Trump.
“Just between us,” Pelosi said to Bloomberg TV’s David Wesin, “I myself do not think that Joe Biden should dignify a debate with the president, who has no commitment to facts, evidence, data, demeans the office he holds, and you saw on that stage, authenticity from both sides – the President authentically a bully, Joe Biden authentically decent.”
"One and done."
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) October 1, 2020
The first debate this past Tuesday “was a sad occasion for our country” that “broke my heart,” Pelosi continued. “I haven’t really slept five hours combined both nights since then because of what it meant for our country to have a president not commit to honoring the peaceful transition of government or condemning white supremacists, abolishing the Affordable Care Act, ignoring the climate crisis, and talking about clean air and clear air when he degrades the environment every day at least two or three times a week with his policies and decisions. So it was a sad occasion.”
Pelosi said that while it has been proposed that the moderator at the next to debates “should have a button to turn one microphone off while the other person is speaking, whatever it is,” Tuesday’s ugly spectacle needs to be a “one and done.”
The Speaker added that although “Biden is courageous,” she “never thought he shouldn’t do it because I didn’t think he would do well. I thought he shouldn’t do it because I thought something like this could happen.”
Pelosi made similar remarks at a news conference inside the Capitol earlier Thursday.
“As Speaker, over time, people have said to me, ‘What keeps you up at night?’ The night of the debate you saw what keeps me up at night,” Pelosi told reporters. “To see a president of the United States, in a debate with a potential president of the United States, refuse to condemn white supremacists, refuse to commit to a peaceful transfer of government. To ignore the climate crisis as our country is burning and our coasts are hit by fierce storms. To be there to crush the Affordable Care Act instead of crushing the virus.”
Pelosi added: “What keeps me at night is what we saw that night was authenticity on both sides of the stage – the president authentically a bully, Joe Biden authentically a decent person who cares about America’s working families.”
The next Trump-Biden showdown on October 15 “isn’t just like a Democratic or Republican debate. That’s the exchange of ideas. That’s what we came here to do. This is something quite different, undermining our institutions, undermining our democracy. The president of the United States with no respect for the office that he holds,” Pelosi said.
This has been Pelosi’s position for a while.
In August, Pelosi pressed Biden to not “legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.”
Essentially, Biden is fighting an unwinnable battle.
“I don’t think that there should be any debates,” Pelosi said at the time. “I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts.”
The Speaker told CBS the same thing last Friday.
“The president has no fidelity to fact or truth, and actually in his comments the last few days, no fidelity to the Constitution of the United States,” Pelosi said. “He and his henchmen are a danger with their comments, are a danger to our democracy. Why bother? He doesn’t tell the truth. He isn’t committed to the Constitution.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.