Should Biden bother showing up for the next two debates?

Last night’s “debate” was anything but. Trump was basically his out-of-control rage monster self, and I don’t see his behavior changing much for the next two debates. As moderator, Chris Wallace’s hands were tied. Short of supplying him with a Taser, there’s not much he could do but try to talk over the president and try to keep him from constantly interrupting.

So, why should Biden bother to participate in this hot mess two more times? His campaign should release a statement saying that Donald Trump has no inclination or capacity for serious debate of the issues, and that Biden refuses to share a stage with him while he spews his firehose of lies and bullshit for two hours. And then on the nights of the next two debates, Biden should hold town hall style rallies where he takes questions from a small audience and tries to answer them honestly. I’m sure he’d get higher TV ratings than Trump “debating” an empty podium.

Biden has to suffer through them because if he doesn’t Trump will claim that Biden has had a stroke and is unable to speak, or some other lie. Enough Americans might believe the lie to make a difference.

Absent a mute button and/or a ball gag, Biden cannot come out ahead in a “debate” with Trump. Either Biden lowers himself to Trumps level and loses respect among his own supporters, or he lets Trump break all the rules…which gives Trump exactly what he wants-a free live Trump rally broadcast over several channels. There needs to be an enforceable penalty for breaking rules both sides agree to to participate in the debate.

I tend to think yes, he should show up. He’s winning, and by a large margin (a lot bigger than Hillary was in '16). He doesn’t need to do anything radical based on how things are now. I think he should lobby that the next two moderators have a mute button and can mute either candidate (which Trump will never agree to), but he shouldn’t pull out of the debates, because that can too easily be spun into weakness.

I think they absolutely should have a toggle on the microphones. Shut that monster up so Biden can talk! Chris Wallace failed to take control from the very beginning. There should be consequences for not following moderator instructions! Trump showed his ass more than ever last night.


How would you propose anyone force Trump to shut up short of a physical pile on? What consequences could work?
The only way is to put both in soundproof booths for a mic shutoff to work.

Totally agree that the moderators need to be given more power to rein in Trump. But that’s not going to happen, the debate rules have already been agreed to, and trying to change them before the next debate will only be a “win” for Trump (even though he already refuses to follow the conditions set).

BTW, who are the moderators for the next two debates?

The moderator for the next debate is Steve Scully, the senior executive producer and political editor at C-SPAN. , and the one after that will be moderated by Kristen Welker, a White House correspondent and anchor at NBC News.
The debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Kamala Harris will be held on Wednesday, October 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and moderated by Susan Page, Washington bureau chief of USA Today.
BTW, the second debate is supposed to be town hall style, where the questions will be asked by people claiming to be undecided. I expect there to be a few plants in the audience.

I started a thread that he shouldn’t bother with the first one. But now that he’s started, he should see it through.

When the dust settles, Biden will have gained from that fiasco.

But he should pull out of the rest.

He should say something like “Trump can and probably will continue to debase the presidency and insult the voters like he did the other night, but he’s going to have to do it without any help from me.”

Who cares what Trump says in response.

Still, this is a much better debate format for Biden, who is at his best empathizing with and relating to people, while trump is terrible at it. Remember how terribly trump did when he had his own town hall-style meetup recently? He’s awful at relating one-on-one to ordinary people who aren’t drinking the trump brand kool-aid.

Biden’s much better at town halls, and he should absolutely do that debate. He’ll actually answer questions and empathize with the questioners while Trump clowns and fumes in the background.

Biden is in a spot where he has to see them through, because the Trump spin machine will cast any backing down as weakness and fear, plain and simple. Biden needs to remain steady and likeable, and barb Trump enough to get him to go full on Trump… which is only feeding the base, but turning off everyone else. Town hall will suit Biden much better in this regard, Trump can’t deal with anyone not kissing his ass.

The next Prez debate is town hall – that means with an audience of regular people that asks questions. That plays to Biden’s strengths (empathy/personal connection), and Trump’s raging clownishness will play even worse than normal in that format, IMO. So Biden definitely shouldn’t (and almost certainly won’t) bow out.

It matters what Trump says because he is the president and has the world’s largest bullhorn to repeat his lies at full volume and dictate what the American people hear. Forget about talking about Trump’s taxes, or racism, all we will talk about until the election will be Biden dodging the debates.

For what it’s worth, I have a friend on Facebook who is an avid Trump supporter, and they publicly posted that he wasn’t good last night. I doubt it will change their vote, but it may change some people’s, if that is the overall effect.

Who knows, maybe if he acts like that a couple more times, it might turn some of his base off.

Biden has to participate, but I think he can make a few changes. In the next debate, no matter what the question, start out with an apology to the American people. “I’m sorry folks, that last debate was a fiasco. I tried my best to discuss the issues so you all could make an informed decision about who can best lead this country out of the mess we’re in. But it just wasn’t possible with the constant interruptions and general rudeness. You all deserve better than that, and I hope that President Trump can restrain himself a little better tonight.”

Plant the seed in everyone’s mind right from the start that Trump is the one being an asshole, and people will remember that when the debate inevitably devolves.

Eh, if Trump wants to talk all day every day about Biden dodging debates, that’s fine with me.

It was a complete waste of everybody’s time and the next two will be also.

It’s not just that Trump will talk about it. The media will also talk about what the president said. Every news article and every news broadcast will be a repeating of his talking points. Sadly, there are Americans who vote who only start paying attention to elections right about now. Their ignorant and dangerous and we have to take that into account.