Prominent liberals, including former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart in a recent CNN op-ed, are urging Biden to skip debating Trump prior to the November election, which Huckabee says is just “wrong.”
“Of course they need to have the debates and I cannot imagine that for any reason Joe Biden would decide he would stay down in his hidey-hole and not get on the stage,” Huckabee told co-host Sandra Smith. “I’ve been on the debate stage with President Trump when he was a candidate and you never know what’s going to happen. It’s truly, as Forrest Gump said, like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.”
“If [Biden] doesn’t, I think he forfeited the right to be president,” the former Republican Arkansas governor added. “When you’re president you will have to stand on the stage with some people that may be pretty tough with you, whether it’s China, Putin, Angela Merkel. You don’t get the option of ‘I don’t want to show up because they’re going to be tough on me.’ That’s part of being president.”
Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager, told “Fox & Friends” Monday the president wants to schedule more debates against Biden, especially since the first debate is set for Sept. 29, referencing the fact that most Americans, including 16 states, will be participating in mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“President Trump is not afraid to get on the stage with anybody. Joe Biden just has to show up and Joe Lockhart is wrong to suggest that he shouldn’t,” Huckabee added.
Biden’s campaign says Trump has not formally agreed to the three presidential debates, but Trump’s campaign says they want them earlier, as Stepien explained, and would like to see more debates.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board stated in an editorial Monday that if Biden ducks the debates “voters will have every right to conclude that his handlers are trying to protect him from doubts about his cognitive capacity.”
Huckabee, a former 2016 presidential candidate, says he can’t imagine that Biden is actually looking forward to the debates, as his campaign spokespeople have stated.
“Joe Biden is struggling when he’s got a prompter in front of him and he’s reading from a script, and the few press avails that he has had, and they’ve been unbelievably sparse, he gets softball questions … so when he gets on the stage with Donald Trump, it’s not going to be playing checkers. It’s going to be a true rumble. I don’t know that his people want him to get into that situation where he has no idea what’s coming.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Biden should debate because even “if Donald Trump lies, he could be called out by the moderator … I think Biden is hardly one to shirk that kind of challenge.”
But Huckabee says Biden has a credibility issue and has been “running for president for 40 years,” since his first campaign in 1988.
“He was a serial plagiarist and then he was caught telling all sorts of things that weren’t true about his academic record about being first in his class, about where he graduated in law school,” Huckabee concluded. “He’s been in politics forever. He has nothing to show for it except plagiarism and exaggeration. Hardly a record to run on.”
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