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Tags: joe biden | radio | howard stern | interview | donald trump | debate

Biden: 'I'm Happy to Debate' Donald Trump

By    |   Friday, 26 April 2024 01:23 PM EDT

President Joe Biden said Friday he would be "happy" to participate in a general election debate with former President Donald Trump, making a surprise comment after months of pressure from the Trump campaign and television networks.

The president, appearing in a surprise interview Friday with radio host Howard Stern, said when asked if he'd debate Trump – that it will happen "somewhere, I don't know when, but I am happy to debate him," reports The New York Times.

His comments came while Trump was in a Manhattan court, where his criminal trial on falsifying business records continues.

"Let's set it up," RNC Rapid Response Director Jake Schneider responded quickly in a statement echoed by Chris LaCivita, a top Trump campaign advisers on the social media platform X.

For months, Biden and his campaign refused to commit to appearing on a debate stage again with Trump.

A top Democrat official, familiar with the Biden campaign's strategy, said that the president's comment appeared to be off the cuff rather than an official announcement.

Earlier this month, The Associated Press and five major news networks wrote to the Biden and Trump campaigns to urge them to debate.

Many of Biden's advisers, however, have been criticizing the presidential debate system and the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

The commission in November announced that presidential debates will be held in San Marcos, Texas; Petersburg, Virginia; and Salt Lake City, with a vice-presidential debate planned for Easton, Pennsylvania.

The Trump campaign, however, asked that more debates be added to the schedule and that the three debates be moved to earlier in the fall.

Trump has also been pushing Biden about the debates during his campaign rallies. Screens show one of his Truth Social posts, which declares he's willing to debate the president "anytime, anywhere, anyplace," and then a staffer brings an empty lectern on the stage, where it stays while Trump speaks.

The interview also took a darker personal turn, when Biden spoke about his feelings of despair his first wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car accident.

He said he thought about getting drunk, even though he wasn't a drinker, and he also had thoughts of suicide, reports The Hill.

"I just thought about it, you don't need to be crazy to commit suicide," he told Stern. "If you've been to the top of the mountain, you think it's never going to be there again. I thought, 'Let me just go to the Delaware Memorial [Bridge] and jump.'"

Biden also told other family stories, and said his stutter prepared him for the hard knocks of life.

Biden said the stutter that he has had since childhood was the best thing that happened to him. Biden eventually conquered the stutter but it occasionally returns in his public speaking.

The Stern interview came as Biden was in New York for political events. It was heavy on biographical details as the Democrat attempts to make himself more approachable to voters.

Biden also said his father, Joseph Robinette Biden Sr., showed him tough love, telling a story about getting knocked out while playing football when he was in the fourth grade.

"My dad walked out with us and said, 'Joey get up. Just get up. Gotta get up,'" he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
President Joe Biden said Friday he would be "happy" to participate in a general election debate with former President Donald Trump, making a surprise comment after months of pressure from the Trump campaign and television networks.
joe biden, radio, howard stern, interview, donald trump, debate
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2024-23-26
Friday, 26 April 2024 01:23 PM
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