Former Vice President Joe Biden should not debate President Donald Trump before the November election because it's a "fool's errand to enter the ring with someone who can't follow the rules or the truth," Joe Lockhart, the former White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton, says in a CNN opinion piece.
"Whatever you do, don't debate Trump," Lockhart said in the opinion piece, which warned Biden that he does not have the 2020 election wrapped up. "Trump has now made more than 20,000 misleading or false statements according to The Washington Post, Lockhart wrote. "It's a fool's errand to enter the ring with someone who can't follow the rules or the truth. Biden will undoubtedly take heat from Republicans and the media for skipping the debates. But it's worth the risk as trying to debate someone incapable of telling the truth is an impossible contest to win."
In the piece, Lockhart also outlined strategy for Biden to follow, while advising him to keep campaigning as if he is 10 percentage points behind Trump:
- Turn out core Democrat constituencies, as Black, women, and suburban voters must turn out in record numbers to beat Trump's base.
- Don't spend money on states you don't need to win, but concentrate on battleground states.
- Don't be afraid to be boring, as "the public is tired of Trump's act."
- Don't take the bait, as "Trump will goad you with ridiculous and slanderous charges on a daily basis."
On Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz ridiculed the Lockhart piece, tweeting that it is "basement strategy, part 2," reports Fox News, and Trump supporters have ridiculed Biden for holding interviews from home. They also have speculated about Biden's overall health, and those claims can grow if he refuses to debate the president.
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