Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Trump and Biden cram final prep and ready attack lines ahead of next week’s debate

By 37ci3 Jun21,2024

WASHINGTON – with the first presidential debate Just a week later, President Joe Biden and Republican candidate Donald Trump began another clash. Thursday night in Atlanta.

Biden plans to spend several days and possibly up to a full week preparing for the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland, senior campaign and administration officials told NBC News, while Trump will engage in somewhat more informal preparations.

While Trump and his team have long denied that he did any formal preparation for the debates, he does not endorse it at all.

With Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, his chief adviser, and Stephens, a former White House aide on immigration, Trump has been holding informal policy sessions on topics that may come up during the debate, including the economy and inflation. Miller and former acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan. While in Washington last week, he held talks with Sens. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rick Grenell, his former acting national security director, the source said. national intelligence.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a onetime GOP presidential candidate and Trump ally, admitted to contacting Trump’s team in preparation for the debate.

“But you know, there’s never been a better, there’s never been a better politician, there’s never been a better debater, there’s never been a better communicator,” Burgum said at an event Thursday in North Dakota.

The Trump campaign has long insisted that his various media interviews and hours-long rallies served as preparation for the debate — though most recent interviews have been with friendly conservative media outlets.

Brian Hughes, a senior adviser to Trump, said Trump plans to push Biden on his handling of immigration and the economy — issues that Trump’s team has maintained are notable weaknesses for Biden.

“With damage [Biden] done through inflation, open borders, and weak foreign policy,” Hughes said. “Biden needs to exercise with his handlers to find a way to explain this mess he’s created in our nation.”

Trump will hold a rally in Philadelphia on Saturday and attend a fundraiser with Vance in Cleveland on Thursday night. Trump is not expected to attend several hearings in the next few days in a federal case in South Florida related to Trump’s handling of classified documents.

Meanwhile, Biden is scheduled to arrive at Camp David on Thursday night and stay until at least Monday, much of which will be devoted to debate preparation, according to campaign and administration officials.

As June 27, the night of the debate, approaches, senior campaign staff and White House advisers will join him on the hillside for preparation sessions. Officials are likely to feature full-length “taunts” in the final installment. Former White House chief of staff Ron Klein is “leading” the preparations, a Biden campaign official said.

Other members of the rotating staff include campaign aides Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, co-chair Cedric Richmond and general counsel Mike Donilon. Biden will also be joined by White House officials, including chief of staff Jeff Zients and senior advisers Bruce Reed, Anita Dunn and Steve Ricchetti. Not all of these aides may be at Camp David during Biden’s stay, but they are all expected to be heavily involved in the process.

Campaign officials said Biden was “preparing to hold Trump accountable for his extreme record and the dangerous things he’s said on the trail.” These topics include Trump’s “gushing away” reproductive rights, “encouraging political violence and undermining our democratic institutions,” and “doing the bidding of billionaire donors” to fund tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy that hurt senior citizens and the middle class.

A former Biden aide familiar with the campaign’s thinking said debate preparations were “like preparing for the finals,” adding that Biden would discuss everything, look at briefing materials and write on cards how he might want to say specific things.

This former aide said the biggest challenges for Biden are distilling information into bite-sized answers and navigating the potential pitfalls of defending his record, while also looking ahead. Another challenge, this person said, is how to deal with Trump’s fact-checking.

The goal for Biden aides during the preparation sessions, the person said, was to want him to present two conflicting visions for the country — especially to people who hadn’t tuned into the race until debate night.

The person also said Biden was prepared to respond to Trump’s attacks with muscular reactions, including possible references to him being a convicted felon.

Another challenge for Biden will be keeping Trump disciplined throughout the 90-minute event, the former aide added. Trump staying mostly on message could make anything the Biden team says about him seem like exaggeration or pure politics, the person said.

Campaign officials said Biden will have less time than he did in 2020, given his “day job.” They said that, therefore, the preparation is mainly limited to the next few days. Biden spent most of the first half of June in Europewith visits to France and Italy.

Officials said Biden has been “increasingly punchy” in recent remarks about Trump and that he plans to “bring this issue to the debate” while still portraying himself as a wise and stable leader in contrast to Trump’s chaos. division”.

Biden is expected to stay at Camp David over the weekend, but may stay longer. The White House left open the possibility that he could make a quick trip or two while there if necessary. Biden could go directly from Camp David to Atlanta if his aides decide to prepare there by the day of the debate.

As for the debate itself, CNN, which hosts the June 27 face-to-face, announced Thursday that Trump will have the last word after a coin flip determines the podium placement and order of closing statements.

Winning the coin toss, the Biden campaign picked the right podium position.

According to two sources familiar with the deliberations, Biden aides planned to mount a strong rapid response operation on the night of the debate. It will be a joint effort between the White House and the campaign, and the best surrogates will be in Atlanta, these people said.

Trump’s eventual allies and several vice presidential hopefuls will join him in Atlanta on Thursday, according to an invitation to a campaign watchdog event obtained by NBC News.

Those in attendance included Burgum, Rubio, Vance and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, as well as Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, and Elise Stefanik, R-Texas.

The invitation also teases “potential post-debate comments” from Trump himself.

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By 37ci3

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