- Former President Donald Trump said Monday that he is “officially” calling for general election debates against President Joe Biden and that they should begin now
- Biden laughed off the comments Monday afternoon in Las Vegas, saying, “If I were him, I would want to debate me, too.”
- The incumbent president added that Trump, who is still in the primary race against Nikki Haley, has “nothing else to do.”
President Joe Biden laughed off former President Donald Trump's call Monday to hold presidential debates immediately.
Biden was asked about Trump's new comments after appearing at No. 1 Boba Tea stopped in Las Vegas and completed a two-state trip to California and Nevada.
The president scoffed that Trump should debate him because “he has nothing else to do.”
“If I were him, I would want to debate me too,” Biden said.
Appearing on The Dan Bongino Show earlier Monday, Trump told the podcaster and former Fox News host that he was “officially” calling for presidential debates to be held and for them to begin sooner rather than later.
President Joe Biden told reporters Monday at the conclusion of his trip to Las Vegas that former President Donald Trump wanted to debate him because “he has nothing else to do.” “If I were him, I would want to debate me too,” the president said
Former President Donald Trump said on The Dan Bongino Show on Monday that he is “officially” calling for general election debates — even though he is still running against Nikki Haley in the primary
“But I would like to call for immediate debates, I would like to debate him now because we should debate,” said the ex-president and 2024 hopeful.
Trump's comments come as he is still in a Republican primary race against his rival Nikki Haley.
Haley has repeatedly called on Trump to face her on the debate stage, including during a high-profile appearance this weekend on Saturday Night Live.
Her campaign set up a website, www.MakeTrumpDebate.com, where supporters can sign a petition.
The former president and leading candidate did not take part in any of the Republican debates that began in August in Milwaukee.
Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took part in the most recent debate, held in January ahead of the Iowa caucuses, but the former U.N. ambassador declined to face DeSantis alone again, leading to two scheduled Debates in New Hampshire resulted in scrapping.
DeSantis dropped out of the presidential race two days before the New Hampshire primary, supporting Trump in his exit and leaving only Haley.
Then-President Donald Trump (left) debates now-President Joe Biden (right) on October 22, 2020, after a previous general election debate was canceled when the Commission on Presidential Debates attempted to hold it virtually as Trump recovered from COVID-19
“We are pleased that Donald Trump has finally recognized the importance of debate,” Haley spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cuba said in a statement Monday. “Now it’s time for Trump to behave and agree to a debate about Nikki Haley.”
General election debates typically occur in the fall, after both parties hold their nominating conventions in the summer.
In November, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced dates and venues for the three scheduled general election debates, scheduled to begin on September 16 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
The second debate is scheduled for October 1 at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, and a third is scheduled for October 9 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.
But that data may not persist.
That's because members of the Republican National Committee voted to resign from the Commission on Presidential Debates, suggesting the group had partisan leanings.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel called the bipartisan group “biased” and criticized it for refusing to make “simple and common-sense reforms.”
The first debate's moderator, CNN's Chris Wallace, a longtime host of Fox News Sunday, was criticized for letting Trump overwhelm Biden during the Cleveland affair. However, Trump also complained about his treatment during that debate as Wallace tried to control him.
The second scheduled debate of 2020 was canceled after the Commission on Presidential Debates called for it to be held virtually while Trump recovered from a case of COVID-19.
The then-President, who almost died from the disease, refused to attend the debate unless it was held in person.
A third general election debate was held in Nashville on October 22.