Biden and Trump prepare for the first 2024 debate

biden and trump prepare for the first 2024 debate

President Joe Biden salutes as he boards Air Force One.

President Joe Biden begins an intense period of private preparations Friday at Camp David for what may be the most consequential presidential debate in decades.

The 81-year-old Democrat's team is aware that he cannot afford an underwhelming performance when he faces Republican rival Donald Trump for 90 minutes on live television Thursday night. Biden's team is expecting aggressive attacks on his physical and mental strength, his record on the economy and immigration and even his family.

Trump, 78 and ever confident, will stay on the campaign trail before going to his Florida estate next week for two days of private meetings as part of an informal prep process.

The former president's allies are pushing him to stay focused on his governing plans, but they're expecting him to be tested by pointed questions about his unrelenting focus on election fraud, his role in the erosion of abortion rights and his unprecedented legal baggage.

Thursday's debate on CNN will be full of firsts, with the potential to reshape the presidential race. Never before in the modern era have two presumptive nominees met on the debate stage so early in the general election season. Never before have two White House contenders faced off at such advanced ages, with widespread questions about their readiness.

And never before has a general election debate participant been saddled with a felony conviction. The debate-stage meeting comes just two weeks before Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on 34 felony counts in his New York hush money trial.

"You can argue this will be the most important debate, at least in my lifetime," said Democratic strategist Jim Messina, 54, who managed former President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign.

The ground rules for Thursday's debate, the first of two scheduled meetings, are unusual.

The candidates agreed to meet at a CNN studio in Atlanta with no audience. Each candidate's microphone will be muted, except when it's his turn to speak. No props or prewritten notes will be allowed onstage. The candidates will be given only a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water.

There will be no opening statements. A coin flip determined that Biden would stand at the podium to the viewer's right, while Trump would deliver the final closing statement.

The next debate won't be until September. Any stumbles Thursday will be hard to erase or replace quickly.

Biden arrived at Camp David on Thursday night and is expected to hunker down with senior campaign aides until next Thursday's debate. While traveling to the mountainside retreat, he gave a thumbs up to reporters when asked how debate prep was going.

The president's aides have been reluctant to share details about his specific preparations, run by former chief of staff Ron Klain. But they have signaled that he is preparing to be aggressive and would not shy away from using the term "convicted felon" to describe his opponent onstage.

One adviser not authorized to speak publicly about debate strategy noted that Biden has been increasingly punchier in recent remarks about Trump and plans to carry that theme through to the debate. That's still while trying to project himself as "the wise and steady leader" in contrast to Trump, the adviser said.

Among some political operatives, there is the sense that Biden may have the most to lose given his struggle to generate momentum amid signs of weakness within his political coalition. Trump and his allies have set an extraordinarily low bar, however, by suggesting for months that Biden is contending with serious physical limitations that make it difficult for him to stand for 90 minutes or even string together two sentences.

"It's like the mirror test. Put a mirror under Biden's nose, and if it fogs it up, he wins, right? That's about what the threshold is for Biden," Republican strategist and Trump ally David Urban said with a laugh. "Can Biden demonstrate that he's mentally nimble? That's the big question."

Yet Trump himself sought to shift expectations in a Thursday interview with the "The All-In Podcast" in which he veered sharply away from his typical Biden taunts. He said Biden "destroyed" vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan in their 2012 debate.

"I assume he's going to be somebody that will be a worthy debater," Trump said of Biden. "I don't want to underestimate him."

Biden's aides have dismissed concerns about his age and mental readiness. They are fighting back against what they allege is deceptive editing of video clips to suggest he is confused.

But while some Democrats are projecting confidence, Biden's allies also say the president has spent much of the last two weeks traveling — in Europe and on the West Coast — which has limited his ability to prepare. Others note that incumbent presidents typically struggle in the season's opening general election debate.

Messina made both points even as he sought to play up the political stakes for Trump. He suggested Trump was taking an unnecessary political risk by debating Biden at all, given Trump's early advantage in many polls.

"I wouldn't have done the debate if I was him," Messina said of Trump. "If you're tied or a little bit ahead of the incumbent, why would you want to give him this air? He decided he wanted to do this to knock him out, and if he doesn't, then I think he's in real trouble."

Trump's team sees Thursday's faceoff as an opportunity to demonstrate a clear contrast with Biden's leadership ability and governing record.

And while they're downplaying his preparations, Trump aides have a pattern of insisting that he doesn't prepare for debates when, in fact, he does — in his own way. Instead of mock debates with lecterns and stand-ins or hours spent poring over policy books, the former president is expected to rely on a series of conversations about policy and strategy with aides and political allies.

Trump will also make a series of public appearances over the coming days.

On Saturday, he's set to host a rally in Philadelphia and deliver a keynote address to a conference of Christian conservatives in Washington. He also has a fundraiser in New Orleans on Monday before going to his Florida estate for meetings.

"Biden needs rehearsals with handlers to find some way to explain this mess he's made of our nation," Trump spokesman Brian Hughes said. "President Trump is always prepared to present to Americans his record of success and Biden's weakness and failures."

Biden's camp is also aware that Trump will likely focus on his son Hunter, as the then-president did on the debate stage four years ago. Hunter Biden was recently convicted on three felony charges related to the purchase of a gun while allegedly being addicted to drugs. Republicans have also criticized Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings when Joe Biden was vice president.

Biden's allies are also concerned, however, that their famously combative rival might be on good behavior.

"For both campaigns, the goal here is reaching an audience of moderate, independent, swing voters in swing states who will, in many ways, be the deciding factor in this election," said former Biden administration official Bill Russo.

"Trump has kind of a golden opportunity here. If he can pretend that he's a reasonable human being for 90 minutes while he's in the spotlight, he's got a lot to gain," Russo added. "The real key here is which Trump shows up."

Don't miss out on all our news at www.mundoamerica.com.

OTHER NEWS

17 minutes ago

Tom Daley opens the door to competing at a record sixth Olympics in Los Angeles... as the Team GB star reveals how his children inspired a return at Paris 2024

17 minutes ago

Today we caught a glimpse of the true heart of Labour - illiberal and bullying: STEPHEN GLOVER

20 minutes ago

Rare SpaceX rocket failure shows exactly why NASA wants 2 commercial options to fly astronauts to ISS

20 minutes ago

Russian journalist who uncovered Putin's daughter now a fugitive

20 minutes ago

PSL records: Kaizer Chiefs’ youngest players ever

20 minutes ago

Microsoft decides diversity ‘no longer business critical’ and sacks DEI team

20 minutes ago

'Special' skipper defended as minutes criticism lingers

20 minutes ago

Analysts: American economy transitions to below-trend growth

20 minutes ago

Sinn Fein praises Labour commitment to repeal Tory amnesty act

20 minutes ago

Bills-Steelers join list of NFL teams holding joint practice together during 2024 training camp

20 minutes ago

Severe storms devastate upstate New York, Midwest, leaving at least 3 dead

20 minutes ago

AP Source: Bears sign Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze to four-year deals

20 minutes ago

Humana-Paredes, Wilkerson reunite for shot at Olympic beach volleyball glory

20 minutes ago

Norton Motorcycles Is Back, Will Launch Six New Bikes in the Next Three Years

20 minutes ago

Browns and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah 'struggling to see eye-to-eye' on contract talks

21 minutes ago

New mobile app by AXS allows cardless payment at commercial carparks

21 minutes ago

Duke-NUS scientists discover protein that plays key role in ageing

21 minutes ago

Varadkar: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil 'rapidly becoming sister parties' but merger not likely

21 minutes ago

Chris Simms ranks 40 NFL QBs, including Cowboys' Dak Prescott

21 minutes ago

Rom-Com 'Because I Want No Loss' Starring Shin Min-a, Kim Young-dae to Premieres in August

21 minutes ago

GOP rep speaks out after attack by anti-Israel protester at RNC: We will not allow them to ‘intimidate us’

21 minutes ago

8 Best Centers The Los Angeles Lakers Could Land This Summer

21 minutes ago

‘A plague of liars’: what caused the disastrous pitches at Copa América?

21 minutes ago

‘The Crown’ Leads Departing Series In Emmy Nominations At 18

21 minutes ago

Waller says Fed getting closer to cutting interest rates as inflation slows

21 minutes ago

11 Chicago restaurants named among ‘iconic' list of restaurants nationwide

21 minutes ago

The Acolyte Episode 8: What That Red Lightsaber Means - And How It Changed

21 minutes ago

List of top Emmy nominees

21 minutes ago

A meteor streaked across the NYC skyline before disintegrating over New Jersey

21 minutes ago

‘Shogun’ tops all Emmy nominees with 25 and ‘The Bear’ leads comedies with 23, setting a new comedy series record

21 minutes ago

Emmy Awards 2024: The full list of nominations

21 minutes ago

Charli XCX hints at plans to quit music in shock career change

21 minutes ago

Olympic champion Richard Carapaz wins Tour de France Stage 17

25 minutes ago

Britain's new government commits to building Holocaust memorial

25 minutes ago

How on-time rent payments can help 'credit invisible' consumers be seen

25 minutes ago

Ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro to speak at RNC hours after leaving jail

25 minutes ago

Country singer Ingrid Andress says she was drunk during awful performance of US national anthem

26 minutes ago

John Deere turns back on wokeness, rejects DEI policies: ‘Committed to our customers’

26 minutes ago

Costco's New Deli Item Is Facing Major Criticism: 'Not Good'

26 minutes ago

Commanders have still not yet assigned Tress Way a number

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global