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-   -   Will Trump refuse to debate the Democratic nominee? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=890678)

drad dog 02-25-2020 08:31 PM

Will Trump refuse to debate the Democratic nominee?
 
What else is there to say?

I searched and didn't find a thread like this so here goes.

I am thinking that it will be too far for him, and his party to refuse. Wouldn't the RNC be just like over?

How will the electorate react?

I think the debate would be one of the most critical events of the last 4 years. troinp has not been accountable for his words for years now. I believe this is responsible for the demoralization of the country, and slipping into post, un and non truth.

All americans must demand a debate.

Sam Stone 02-25-2020 08:41 PM

Of course Trump will debate. It would be disastrous for the President to refuse to debate, and in any event I'm sure that Trump's ego is telling him that he'll wipe the floor with the other person.

Trump can't wait to debate. He's an entertainer and lives for the camera.

Bijou Drains 02-25-2020 09:38 PM

he might do just 1 or 2 and of course Pence will debate whoever the Dems pick for VP

steronz 02-25-2020 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Stone (Post 22159270)
Of course Trump will debate. It would be disastrous for the President to refuse to debate, and in any event I'm sure that Trump's ego is telling him that he'll wipe the floor with the other person.

Trump can't wait to debate. He's an entertainer and lives for the camera.

Your ideas are out of date. You probably think it'd be disastrous for a president to just stop holding regular press conferences, but the person who promised to be the most transparent president, maybe in the history of presidents, essentially did just that and it didn't matter. Trump has realized that he can just blather to his base through Twitter or whatever, and absolutely nobody is going to hold it against him if he doesn't play the debate game.

That's not to say you're wrong -- despite sounding like an absolute moron at every single debate he participated in, Fox News still consistently called him a winner and he probably loved every minute of it. So he very well may agree to debates. I'm just saying, he doesn't have to.


I think a more interesting question might be what novel debate strategies the Democratic nominee might adopt to combat Trump's specific brand of "No puppet, no puppet, you're the puppet" debate style. Personally, I wanted Clinton to try making fart sounds every time Trump tried to speak. Phbtbtbtbtb. Phbtbtbtbt. Phhbtbtbtbtbtbtbtbbtbbtbtbtbtbtbtbtb. I think that would have been more effective than trying to give intelligent answers to questions that Trump was just inevitably going to wipe his ass with.

Lamoral 02-25-2020 09:53 PM

This is one of those issues that I have to put down to people not really paying attention to the political situation for the past 4 years. I think there are an awful lot of people who witnessed what happened in 2016, they were disgusted by it, and so they just kind of blocked out everything else that happened afterwards, perhaps occasionally seeing some absurd Trump outburst on social media and reading the occasional thinkpiece on the Washington Post or the Atlantic, and otherwise just motoring along through life doing their best to shut out the poisonous political climate. And, hell, it's a completely understandable reaction.

But that's the only justification that I can come up with for anyone claiming that Trump would miss a chance to debate the Democratic challenger. I simply don't understand how someone who has actually been following politics astutely, can say such a thing.

Of course, everyone said Trump would be handily defeated by Clinton, after the same people said that he'd never get the nomination because the RNC would freeze him out, after they said that he'd never even run to begin with because he'd have to disclose his finances.

Fiddle Peghead 02-25-2020 10:01 PM

I am of the opinion that Trump is absolutely relishing the thought of getting to cut loose on the Dem nominee.

Loach 02-25-2020 10:07 PM

My gut feeling is he will only do one.
I won’t be surprised if he does two.
I will be very surprised if he does zero or more than two.

I think a lot has to do with what the format will be. He is more likely to agree to a freewheeling townhall style debate.

Again based solely on a gut feeling.

snfaulkner 02-25-2020 10:43 PM

Nobody voting for Trump gives any shits about debate.

guizot 02-26-2020 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snfaulkner (Post 22159443)
Nobody voting for Trump gives any shits about debate.

Right--Trump is lazy, but he'll still want the attention. He'll skip the debate to play golf.

Then he'll tell all his supporters that he did the debate, and won, because it was bestest most amazing debate performance ever in history.

And they'll believe him.

BigT 02-26-2020 05:41 AM

I just don't see a version of Trump who wouldn't want to go in and "win" against them, beating them down. It doesn't even matter if most people think he won--his followers will, and that'll be the adoration he wants.

Not debating would require savvy and self-control, which Trump doesn't have.

Horatius 02-26-2020 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead (Post 22159392)
I am of the opinion that Trump is absolutely relishing the thought of getting to cut loose on the Dem nominee.



Yeah, this. He was bad enough when debating Clinton the last time, but now he's got almost 4 years of proof that none of his supporters will object to name calling, lying, rumor mongering, and all that other crap. Why wouldn't he want a nationally televised opportunity to say anything he wants, where they're not allowed to just cut him off?

It'll be the debate version of this scene from Idiocracy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPmHqzDtvHs

Jimmy Chitwood 02-26-2020 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamoral (Post 22159381)
This is one of those issues that I have to put down to people not really paying attention to the political situation for the past 4 years. I think there are an awful lot of people who witnessed what happened in 2016, they were disgusted by it, and so they just kind of blocked out everything else that happened afterwards, perhaps occasionally seeing some absurd Trump outburst on social media and reading the occasional thinkpiece on the Washington Post or the Atlantic, and otherwise just motoring along through life doing their best to shut out the poisonous political climate. And, hell, it's a completely understandable reaction.

But that's the only justification that I can come up with for anyone claiming that Trump would miss a chance to debate the Democratic challenger. I simply don't understand how someone who has actually been following politics astutely, can say such a thing.

It is specifically because I have been paying attention that I think there's a good chance there wouldn't be a debate, at least not anything like a debate as we commonly understand one. I think it's a very strange thing to cite recent events as supporting the idea that Trump would follow any standard procedures for any media-related event.

Trump the candidate couldn't just declare that the debates had to follow certain rules, or that certain networks couldn't air them, or certain people couldn't moderate them, or that his opponents not be allowed to say certain things or answer certain things or talk for as long as him. When he wasn't president he couldn't come out and say that the reason the cameras worked a certain way, or the lights, or particular questions, were because enemies of the people were responsible. If he walked out of those debates, he didn't get to return to THE WHITE HOUSE and do whatever he wanted with state apparatus.

Not only can he say that shit now, he says it every day. There is no chance at all that a President Trump would allow anybody else to set the rules for any aspect of the debate. He fills rooms with people who have been told to stand up and cheer for him. He doesn't talk to media, except very specific media, under very specific circumstances. That's not a debate.

Ashtura 02-26-2020 09:07 AM

He won't skip the debates.

str8cashhomie 02-26-2020 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jimmy Chitwood (Post 22159918)
It is specifically because I have been paying attention that I think there's a good chance there wouldn't be a debate, at least not anything like a debate as we commonly understand one. I think it's a very strange thing to cite recent events as supporting the idea that Trump would follow any standard procedures for any media-related event.

Trump the candidate couldn't just declare that the debates had to follow certain rules, or that certain networks couldn't air them, or certain people couldn't moderate them, or that his opponents not be allowed to say certain things or answer certain things or talk for as long as him. When he wasn't president he couldn't come out and say that the reason the cameras worked a certain way, or the lights, or particular questions, were because enemies of the people were responsible. If he walked out of those debates, he didn't get to return to THE WHITE HOUSE and do whatever he wanted with state apparatus.

Not only can he say that shit now, he says it every day. There is no chance at all that a President Trump would allow anybody else to set the rules for any aspect of the debate. He fills rooms with people who have been told to stand up and cheer for him. He doesn't talk to media, except very specific media, under very specific circumstances. That's not a debate.

Trump's MO as president hasn't even been this elaborate. I think it's entirely possible he just skips the debate, cites no reason at all or some rambling about the deep state, and then leaves it to other Republicans to make up an excuse for why he had to skip the debate because the moderators were going to ask unfair questions or some other ridiculousness.

I think it remains to be seen in the 2020 campaign if we'll see candidate Trump (from 2016) who put effort into antagonizing the media and building his notoriety in politics, or President Trump who knows his cultists don't need to be riled up and seems to let people around him shelter him from having to face a hostile environment directly.

Ludovic 02-26-2020 09:15 AM

I posted this theory in another thread as only a semi-joke. I'm not convinced that he will skip the debates, but the chance of it is at least an order of magnitude higher than any other candidate in the recent history.

El_Kabong 02-26-2020 09:24 AM

IMO there is no chance whatever that Trump will pass up debating his opponent at least twice, especially if that opponent is Crazy Bernie (Trump's word choice). I'm equally certain that Trump and/or his minions will make every attempt to manipulate the debate format to their percieved advantage; if the organizers don't play ball, Trump can always fall back on the old unfair/disgraceful/fake news/enemy of the people whining bullshit.

So, 2-3 debates, probably, no more.

Ashtura 02-26-2020 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by str8cashhomie (Post 22159949)
think it's entirely possible he just skips the debate, cites no reason at all or some rambling about the deep state, and then leaves it to other Republicans to make up an excuse for why he had to skip the debate because the moderators were going to ask unfair questions or some other ridiculousness.

It's entirely possible. It's also possible he'll drop dead before the debates and I'd put the odds of both at about even. Trump loves cameras and is not one to shy away from confrontation. He calls on Jim Acosta for Pete's sake. I think you believe he's "afraid" of getting into verbal knife fights more than he actually is.

I believe he was "afraid" Biden was the most electable candidate. I don't believe he is "afraid" to debate him however. I don't think he's afraid of debating Bernie either.

Happy Lendervedder 02-26-2020 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by El_Kabong (Post 22159974)
IMO there is no chance whatever that Trump will pass up debating his opponent at least twice, especially if that opponent is Crazy Bernie (Trump's word choice). I'm equally certain that Trump and/or his minions will make every attempt to manipulate the debate format to their percieved advantage; if the organizers don't play ball, Trump can always fall back on the old unfair/disgraceful/fake news/enemy of the people whining bullshit.

So, 2-3 debates, probably, no more.

So...the normal amount.

Unreconstructed Man 02-26-2020 10:10 AM

I hope he doesn’t do them. Debates are just pointless, bullshit political theatre. Pretty much everyone will have decided how they’ll vote within five minutes of the Democratic Primary winner being announced anyway. Debates serve no real purpose.

Sterling Archer 02-26-2020 10:19 AM

I think he will do only 2 debates, probably moderated by Fox and Chuck Todd. His answers will be absolute nonsense and lies, but he will mock and bully his opponent and his base will declare it brilliant and the most decisive debate victory of all time.

The idiocracy court room scene exactly, basically.

Robot Arm 02-26-2020 10:24 AM

If Trump is asked, he will promise to debate his opponent, because he would look weak to refuse. He has no grand strategy; all he thinks about is how he can bluff and bluster his way through the current moment.

Whether he actually shows up to a debate is 50-50.

Elendil's Heir 02-26-2020 10:30 AM

I would not at all be surprised if the President decided not to take part in debates. His decision will be driven entirely by whether or not he thinks, at that moment in the political calendar, that it's in his best interests to do so. If it isn't, he won't, political custom be damned. He could even spin it as a gesture of contempt for the Dem nominee, yet again delighting the MAGAheads.

str8cashhomie 02-26-2020 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashtura (Post 22160018)
It's entirely possible. It's also possible he'll drop dead before the debates and I'd put the odds of both at about even. Trump loves cameras and is not one to shy away from confrontation. He calls on Jim Acosta for Pete's sake. I think you believe he's "afraid" of getting into verbal knife fights more than he actually is.

I believe he was "afraid" Biden was the most electable candidate. I don't believe he is "afraid" to debate him however. I don't think he's afraid of debating Bernie either.

I mean he might just realize that he doesn't have the energy anymore to stay engaged for a 1 hour debate - fear doesn't need to enter the equation. He also definitely realizes that he can just skip the debates and give no reason at all, and it won't hurt him with Republicans.

drad dog 02-26-2020 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ludovic (Post 22159959)
I posted this theory in another thread as only a semi-joke. I'm not convinced that he will skip the debates, but the chance of it is at least an order of magnitude higher than any other candidate in the recent history.

See what happens when you semi-joke?

drad dog 02-26-2020 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by El_Kabong (Post 22159974)
IMO there is no chance whatever that Trump will pass up debating his opponent at least twice, especially if that opponent is Crazy Bernie (Trump's word choice). I'm equally certain that Trump and/or his minions will make every attempt to manipulate the debate format to their percieved advantage; if the organizers don't play ball, Trump can always fall back on the old unfair/disgraceful/fake news/enemy of the people whining bullshit.

So, 2-3 debates, probably, no more.

If trump falls back, and swamps the process, then that was not a debate. It's a refusal in my book.

drad dog 02-26-2020 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man (Post 22160071)
I hope he doesn’t do them. Debates are just pointless, bullshit political theatre. Pretty much everyone will have decided how they’ll vote within five minutes of the Democratic Primary winner being announced anyway. Debates serve no real purpose.

So you're scared every time orange opens his mouth? Take a number, get in line, and don't vote for him.

drad dog 02-26-2020 11:39 AM

A debate is when he is 1)questioned directly, and 2)rebutted in public, 3)live in real time, 4)in front of a real audience.

Other arrangements will be a refusal to debate.

The Tooth 02-26-2020 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man (Post 22160071)
I hope he doesn’t do them. Debates are just pointless, bullshit political theatre. Pretty much everyone will have decided how they’ll vote within five minutes of the Democratic Primary winner being announced anyway. Debates serve no real purpose.

They will serve to give your fascist gameshow host of a president the opportunity to display his lack of fitness for the role.

Lightnin' 02-26-2020 01:19 PM

He'll swear up and down that he'll gladly debate every opponent- but something will come up. It'll be on an unfair night, or the debate conditions will be unfair to him in some way, or the hosts will be neverTrumpers and therefore he will, sadly, have to cancel. Then he'll either do an interview on Fox on the same night, or he'll throw a rally- he'll retreat to his safe space instead of dealing with a situation he can't completely control.

There's no way in hell he'll enter into a situation where he doesn't have every possible advantage.

BobLibDem 02-26-2020 01:23 PM

He will not be able to resist putting his ugly mug with his prehensile rectum mouth in front of the camera. Whether he does or not is without impact on the race. We're all in our tribes and if we watch it's to cheer our guy and razz the other guy. Presidential debates have long since jumped the shark. Now they're just opportunities to get the insults and bumper sticker sound bites in.

tullsterx 02-26-2020 01:25 PM

LOL!

No, he will not. There is absolutely no history to support that thought. What, you think Trump shies away from confrontation? That's just ridiculous.

Lightnin' 02-26-2020 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tullsterx (Post 22160498)
LOL!

No, he will not. There is absolutely no history to support that thought. What, you think Trump shies away from confrontation? That's just ridiculous.

Are you kidding? He shies away from confrontation all the time.

He only does press conferences when he's in front of a running helicopter, so he can pretend to not hear questions- and if he doesn't want to answer a question, he can always suddenly fly off.

He never fires anyone face-to-face: it's always over twitter, or through an underling. If someone has the audacity to quit before he can fire them, he tries to fire them online before they have a chance to make their decision publicly.

He only does interviews on safe ground- Fox News or, more specifically, Fox and Friends. If Fox starts pretending to give Democrats equal time, he boycotts them.

He's ridiculously cowardly.

SingleMalt 02-26-2020 03:13 PM

He'll do the first one, but if he thinks he embarrassed himself, he will accuse the moderators of bias and refuse to do another. Instead, he'll have some rally for the veterans or something and then refuse to part with the donations.

drad dog 02-26-2020 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tullsterx (Post 22160498)
LOL!

No, he will not. There is absolutely no history to support that thought. What, you think Trump shies away from confrontation? That's just ridiculous.

Like the "firings" on reality tv?

trump is not in jail, so that means he has some self preservation instincts, and has shied away from almost any real confrontation in his life that he couldn't fix or rig.

To describe him as a "fighter" is very inaccurate.

RTFirefly 02-26-2020 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 22159376)
I think a more interesting question might be what novel debate strategies the Democratic nominee might adopt to combat Trump's specific brand of "No puppet, no puppet, you're the puppet" debate style.

If they schedule two or more debates, here's how I think the Dem nominee should play it:

First debate: Get the better of Trump, but only just enough that Trump thinks he can reverse that in the next debate.

Second debate: Just spend your time listing and going into detail on as many of Trump's crimes and abuses of power as you can. Regard each question merely as a starting point to segue into details of those crimes and abuses. Tear that motherfucker to shreds on national TV. Leave no doubt in the mind of anyone remotely persuadable that while Trump may not be as bad as Hitler, but he leaves Mussolini in the dust.

ETA: If there's a third debate scheduled, it obviously won't happen, but no need for it really.

Inigo Montoya 02-26-2020 04:13 PM

It would be best if the major networks refused to carry a debate at all, as it would just be another block of free campaign advertising for one of the most vicious anti-press personalities in history. And as was mentioned, within 5 minutes of the Democrat getting named the election will be as good as over. Nobody would watch anyway except out of morbid curiosity so it's not like there's a giant ratings vein to be mined.

Instead, or as competition to FOX's broadcast of the Debacle (because you know they'll put lipstick on that pig and hawk it as Mother Mary), the other TV people could drag out old PBS educational programs, or cartoons. Folks would tune in to FOX briefly, but it'd be hard to stay when you know more enriching programming is available, like Little Rascals or Rocky & Bullwinkle are options.

Unreconstructed Man 02-26-2020 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Tooth (Post 22160436)
They will serve to give your fascist gameshow host of a president the opportunity to display his lack of fitness for the role.

lol. Got the guts to apologize?

tullsterx 02-26-2020 05:04 PM

He'll definitely debate. You'll see. I can't believe how delusional you guys are. I guess I should be used to it. But my friends get a real laugh out of it when I tell them about threads like this.

drad dog 02-26-2020 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man (Post 22160837)

That you are an anti trump voter, and are against having him debate is just incomprehensible.

NDP 02-26-2020 07:58 PM

It's far more likely than not he'll debate the Democratic nominee. The only thing that's keeps me from being completely sure about this claim, however, is Trump's emulation of Nixon and the fact Tricky Dick ducked debating McGovern in 1972. Granted, Nixon's avoidance was due to memories of how badly his 1960 debates against JFK turned out but a debate would've momentarily put McGovern on the same level as the President which went against the GOP's campaign strategy of marginalizing the Democratic nominee as a leftwing extremist with no chance of winning. I can see Trump thinking the same way if (especially) Sanders is the nominee.

CarnalK 02-26-2020 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drad dog (Post 22160879)
That you are an anti trump voter, and are against having him debate is just incomprehensible.

The Bernie camp seemed real pissed Bloomberg was allowed into the debate, which is equally bizarre.

drad dog 02-26-2020 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 22161144)
The Bernie camp seemed real pissed Bloomberg was allowed into the debate, which is equally bizarre.

Didn't the DNC change their own rules to let him in, after numerous others were hobbled or on the wrong side of those rules?

Is "the Bernie camp" anyone on his campaign at any level?

CarnalK 02-26-2020 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drad dog (Post 22161181)
Didn't the DNC change their own rules to let him in, after numerous others were hobbled or on the wrong side of those rules?

Is "the Bernie camp" anyone on his campaign at any level?

They had separate rules for each debate. Yes, they probably thought the rules currently shouldn't exclude a guy tied for third place in the polls. Do you think they should have left out Bloomberg? Like that would have been so "fair" that it was worth excluding a contender?

drad dog 02-26-2020 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 22161192)
They had separate rules for each debate. Yes, they probably thought the rules currently shouldn't exclude a guy tied for third place in the polls. Do you think they should have left out Bloomberg? Like that would have been so "fair" that it was worth excluding a contender?

Is it fair to those who dropped out fo the race, because they didn't have a billion dollars and weren't buying their way in?

You didn't say what "bernie camp" means.

The Tooth 02-26-2020 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man (Post 22160837)

Why? Did you infer I was accusing you of supporting him? I wasn't.

CarnalK 02-26-2020 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drad dog (Post 22161205)
Is it fair to those who dropped out fo the race, because they didn't have a billion dollars and weren't buying their way in?

You didn't say what "bernie camp" means.

I meant loyal Bernie voters. Remember, this started with you being shocked that a "an anti trump voter" wouldn't want Trump in the debate?

And I don't give a frap if it's fair to the drop outs. We are talking about whether a Dem primary debate should exclude the guy tied for third spot. You seem to have forgotten to answer that.

BigAppleBucky 02-26-2020 09:57 PM

I thought for months he would avoid a debate. Now I suspect it will depend on the circumstances. If he's a good deal behind in the polls, a debate might be hail mary for him.

If there is a debate I hope it's well controlled. No strolling around his opponent while that person is speaking, for example.

Vinyl Turnip 02-27-2020 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tullsterx (Post 22160878)
He'll definitely debate. You'll see. I can't believe how delusional you guys are. I guess I should be used to it. But my friends get a real laugh out of it when I tell them about threads like this.

Who laughs hardest? G.I. Joe, Kermit the Frog, or the broken Furby you never got around to naming?

Tatterdemalion 02-27-2020 07:07 AM

I think the better question is will the Democratic nominee want to debate Trump?

After the last election, I just don't see any advantage to a Democrat in giving him the platform.

JKellyMap 02-27-2020 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip (Post 22161574)
Who laughs hardest? G.I. Joe, Kermit the Frog, or the broken Furby you never got around to naming?

:)


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