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This Time, Democrat Shouldn't Debate Trump, Pelosi Says

Biden says he'll fact-check the president himself
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2020 3:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Calling Donald Trump's behavior during the 2016 presidential debates "disgraceful," Nancy Pelosi said the Democrats' nominee should refuse to face the president onstage. Trump also lacks a connection to "truth, evidence, data, and facts," the House speaker said. "I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate." Trump called Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton "a nasty woman" in a debate last time, moved to stand close behind her as she spoke, and regularly interrupted her. Pelosi said a debate with him, USA Today reports, would be "an exercise in skullduggery." Joe Biden said later Thursday that he'll debate Trump anyway, per the Hill. "I think everybody knows that this man has a somewhat pathological tendency not to tell the truth," Biden said. His plan is "to be the fact checker on the stage while I'm debating him."

Biden said he'll honor his three-debate commitment as long as the commission responsible for the events "continues down the straight." But the president has added a potential wrinkle, saying he wants both of them to take drug tests before the first debate, scheduled for Sept. 29. Trump cited no evidence for his stated suspicion that Biden was on something during the Democratic debates, per the Washington Examiner, but said his performance improved at some point. "Somebody said to me, 'He must be on drugs,'" Trump said in an interview. "I don't know if that's true or not, but I'm asking for a drug test." He asked the commission to require drug tests before the 2016 debates, to no avail. This year, Trump also has asked the commission to add and reschedule debates but has been turned down. (Biden says he is "absolutely" open to two terms.)

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