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Joe Biden: Racism is a ‘white man’s problem’ that is institutional in the U.S.

CLOSE In night two of the Democratic debate, candidates bore down into issues, and each other. Kamala Harris went after Joe Biden for his past on busing. USA TODAYWASHINGTON – Former Vice President Joe Biden called out lawmakers and others Tuesday for not taking President Donald Trump to task over his rhetoric, saying institutional racism…

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Joe Biden: Racism is a ‘white man’s problem’ that is institutional in the U.S.

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In night two of the Democratic debate, candidates bore down into issues, and each other. Kamala Harris went after Joe Biden for his past on busing.
USA TODAYWASHINGTON – Former Vice President Joe Biden called out lawmakers and others Tuesday for not taking President Donald Trump to task over his rhetoric, saying institutional racism in the country is “overwhelmingly a white man’s problem visited on people of color.”“What presidents say matter … They can make markets rise and fall. They can send people to war,’’ Biden told a small group of reporters at a briefing Tuesday in Washington, D.C. “They can, in fact, also appeal to the worst damn instincts of human nature.”Race and racism have been major issues in the 2020 presidential campaign, particularly among the Democratic candidates. Criticizing Trump over his comments on race has been a central part of Biden’s campaign, with the former vice president often referring to this presidential race as “a battle for the soul” of the country. And Biden has faced his own criticisms. Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, who are both running for president, each had pointed exchanges with Biden during previous Democratic debates regarding his comments about working with segregationists in the Senate and previous comments on public school busing.Sen. Cory Booker speaks to former Vice President Joe Biden during the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates on July 31, 2019, in Detroit. (Photo: Paul Sancya, AP)Still, Biden has maintained frontrunner status in most national and early-state polling, and has benefitted from strong support among black voters. Black voters are expected to be a key voting bloc in the 2020 presidential race, and Democratic candidates have been aggressively courting them, particularly in the early-voting state of South Carolina. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus have endorsed Biden. Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, serves as co-chair of Biden’s national campaign.“I think people know me or at least they think they know me,’’ Biden said Tuesday, adding “warts and all.” Biden said his campaign will focus its get-out-the-vote efforts on voters in black and Latino communities. That effort will include visits to states in the South and stops on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities.During the more than hour-long interview that focused on a range of issues, including criminal justice, voting rights and race, Biden said “white folks are the reason why there’s institutional racism.”He said there’s always been racism in America, and white supremacists have long been here.“They still exist,’’ he said, noting he doesn’t know what percentage among the white population. “But it’s real, it’s there.”Biden also stressed that “silence is complicity” when is comes to challenging Trump over his comments. “The only way … you deal with it is you attack it, you expose it, you embarrass … You call them out,” he said. “Most of all, you call them out to our children.”Trump’s campaign defended the president’s work. “President Trump’s policies have produced results for all Americans, regardless of region, race, or gender,”http://www.usatoday.com/” Erin Perrine, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, said in a statement. “As a failing candidate continues his meteoric fall, Biden is grasping at paper straws to try and stay relevant. He can’t attack President Trump on his policies so instead he goes to the oldest and saddest plays in the book. They didn’t work for him in 1988 or 2008 and won’t work now.”Trump has also argued his rhetoric “brings people together.”“I think we have toned it down,’’ Trump told reporters at the White House earlier this month. “We’ve been getting hit left and right from everybody.” If nominated, Biden said he would consider a woman or a candidate of color as his pick for vice president. But he said first that person must be someone he could “completely thoroughly trust.”Biden also said his campaign will ramp up get-out-the-vote efforts in the South and other places across the country.He pledged if he’s elected president he will beef up the Justice Department to enforce voting rights laws and block state efforts to suppress voter turnout, a key issue for voters of color.John Fritze contributed to this report.Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/08/27/joe-biden-racism-is-a-white-mans-problem/2135587001/
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First U.S. presidential debate ‘not a very good night’ for America | CBC News

The first debate of this fall’s U.S. presidential election achieved the rare feat of uniting the pundits in a notoriously divided country. They found unity in their dismay.The point of agreement was that this was a sad spectacle for what’s sometimes described as the world’s oldest democracy. The 90-minute affair concluded with a surreal exchange…

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First U.S. presidential debate ‘not a very good night’ for America | CBC News

The first debate of this fall’s U.S. presidential election achieved the rare feat of uniting the pundits in a notoriously divided country. They found unity in their dismay.The point of agreement was that this was a sad spectacle for what’s sometimes described as the world’s oldest democracy. The 90-minute affair concluded with a surreal exchange about whether the United States is in fact about to have a clean election. In this debate, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, complained about mailed ballots and said: “It’s a rigged election.”  Several minutes earlier, the moderator had asked him to condemn white supremacists and militia-like groups, and the president pushed back. WATCH | ‘Stand back and stand by,’ Trump says to Proud Boys group:  U.S. presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace asks U.S. President Donald Trump if he will condemn white supremacist groups involved in violent clashes over policing and racism in some U.S. cities. Trump replies, ‘Sure’ and asks ‘Who would you like me to condemn? Who? Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,’ referencing one of the groups involved. 1:30 “What do you want to call them? Give me a name,” Trump responded, and when his opponent Joe Biden mentioned the Proud Boys group, the president said something that triggered a celebratory reaction in far-right online circles.  “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”  Trump’s response drew sharp rebukes from viewers and pundits, including this from political commentator Van Jones: Only three things happened tonight:1. #DonaldTrump refused to condemn white supremacy.2. The #POTUS refused to condemn white supremacy.3. The #CommanderInChief REFUSED to condemn white supremacy on the GLOBAL STAGE.NOW LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING ONLINE.THIS IS NOT OKAY. pic.twitter.com/OhANFUYqNS—@VanJones68 It was a far cry from the first televised presidential debate in 1960.  In that one, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon spoke in complex and complete sentences; avoided interrupting each other; and began with an exchange on the need to become a fairer and more racially equal country that shines its example unto the free world. Trump game plan: Constant attack Trump clearly entered this one with a more prosaic game plan: maul away at Biden so consistently, so aggressively, that he’d struggle to complete a point. The president dominated the stage in the first half of the debate, repeatedly interrupting and knocking the former vice-president off-kilter. WATCH | Recap of the first U.S. presidential debate: U.S. President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden faced off in their first presidential debate, with Trump looking to increase lagging support and Biden trying to disprove doubts about his age and abilities. 5:51 A number of Trump’s interjections comprised falsehoods. In the very first segment, Biden warned that an upcoming Supreme Court case over the so-called Obamacare health law could harm insurance coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions and he mentioned that 100 million people have such conditions. Debate-watchers say Biden won first debate, but most felt “annoyed” – CBS News poll https://t.co/4hlkiDxaHt—@CBSNews Trump interrupted, for the first of many times, to deny that 100 million people have pre-existing conditions.  His own Department of Health and Human Services says it’s actually somewhere between 50 million and 129 million people, though far fewer actually make use of one of the Obamacare plans. WATCH | Science vs. politics and the COVID-19 vaccine:  Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden becomes exasperated with President Donald Trump’s interrupting during the first presidential debate. 0:34 The former VP initially struggled to get his points across. The president lobbed comments at him — like, “Forty-seven years [in politics], you’ve done nothing” — that broke his flow.  At the moment where Biden began to lace into the president over a New York Times report that he paid little or no income tax some years, and started to make a broader point about his own plan to raise taxes on companies and the rich, Biden’s initial attempt was cut off; his second was a bit muddled.  ‘Shut up, man’ The tide turned somewhat. It began with exasperated insults from Biden like: “You’re the worst president America has ever had. Come on,” and, “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown,” and, “Everyone knows he’s a liar,” and, in a distant cry from the rhetorical style of past televised debates, Biden told Trump, “Will you shut up, man?”  The moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, then called Trump to task. He told the president to stop speaking out of turn.  “I’m appealing to you, sir,” Wallace said. When Trump asked whether he’d issue the same order to Biden, Wallace replied: “Frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting.”   Eventually Biden settled into his own game plan — to look at the camera, speak directly to the American people and, in this difficult year, exude empathy. WATCH | ‘Will you shut up, man?’ Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he and his running mate Kamala Harris trust the scientists when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine prompting Donald Trump to question Biden’s intelligence. 1:54 “Under this president we’ve become weaker. Sicker. Poorer. More divided. And more violent,” Biden said. He waffled when Trump asked about a highly controversial idea gaining ground on the left: expanding the Supreme Court as punishment for the latest Republican nomination.  More than once, Trump set out to damage Biden’s left flank.  Trump raised policies embraced by the farther-left elements of the Democratic Party, like the Green New Deal and defunding the police. Biden replied each time that these were not his policies. The Democratic nominee stressed that he — not socialists — spoke for the Democratic Party. “The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders,” Biden said. “I beat him [by] a whole hell of a lot.” Trump’s response to that was striking.  Trump tries damaging rival on his left The president, at two moments in the debate, offered something that sounded like political punditry. Trump chimed in, “He just lost the left. You just lost the left.”  Trump repeated a similar comment later about Biden losing left-wing votes, during an exchange about the Green New Deal. It was self-serving punditry, to be sure.  But it was also revealing, as it highlighted one way Trump can still win this race: depressed turnout on the left. All across America, people are ready to take a shower.—@DanRather Trump has had trouble cracking the mid-40s in national polls and in swing-state polls. One way to win, if he doesn’t grow, is to take Biden down a peg. Meaning, if enough progressives vote Green or stay home, Trump has a better chance. Whether this debate did anything to help the president is far from certain.  Trump entered Tuesday night deemed the underdog, and it’ll become clearer within a few days whether he gained a critical boost. Initial reactions give Biden edge According to the first post-debate polls by CBS and CNN, Biden was viewed as the winner. The CBS poll said, however, that most people were annoyed by the debate. Undecided voters in a focus group organized by Republican operative Frank Luntz were also uninspired. The first five post-debate panellists commenting on Fox News were unconvinced this was a game-changer.  These early debate reactions are to be handled with caution.  In 2012, and in 2016, the first post-debate polls hailed Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton as the winners; neither became president. One broad point of consensus however, on both the left- and right-leaning networks, was that the debate had one big loser. “Maybe America lost,” was the immediate post-debate reaction from Fox News’ Bret Baier. Over on MSNBC, veteran Democratic strategist James Carville said: “It was not a very good night for American democracy at all.”
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Military member with links to far-right groups says he’s ‘done nothing wrong’ | CBC News

A Canadian military reservist whose membership in two far-right groups is being investigated by the army has spoken publicly about the matter for the first time, telling a local print and online publication in British Columbia that the allegations against him are “rubbish.” Erik Myggland, who belongs to the Canadian Ranger Valemount, B.C. patrol, spoke recently to The Rocky…

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Military member with links to far-right groups says he’s ‘done nothing wrong’ | CBC News

A Canadian military reservist whose membership in two far-right groups is being investigated by the army has spoken publicly about the matter for the first time, telling a local print and online publication in British Columbia that the allegations against him are “rubbish.” Erik Myggland, who belongs to the Canadian Ranger Valemount, B.C. patrol, spoke recently to The Rocky Mountain Goat, a weekly publication, about the military’s effort to release him from the service. A CBC News investigation last month chronicled Myggland’s prolific online support for the Three Percenter movement — a survivalist organization originally from the U.S. that conducts military-style training — and the Soldiers of Odin, a group with white supremacist roots in Europe. Myggland was interviewed by the military’s counterintelligence branch, which is charged with keeping tabs on possible threats within the service. Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, a brigadier general at the time, speaks with Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk, commander of the Canadian Army, in the Wainwright Garrison training area during Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE on June 2, 2016. (DND Combat Camera/Master Corporal Malcolm Byers) He is still serving as a Ranger, although his own unit recommended he be removed more than a year ago. The army is now investigating to learn why he hasn’t been ejected from the Rangers to date. Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, commander of the Canadian Army, said recently that Myggland is not expected to be formally released until later this fall.”I’m fine with being released, but it absolutely matters why,” Myggland told the newspaper, adding that he “can’t stand for” being publicly linked with hate groups. CBC News reached out to Myggland — who has posted anti-government screeds online and described Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “treasonous bastard” in one social media post — on several occasions before its first story on him was published in late August. He initially agreed to talk but then went silent. After publication of his recent interview with the local weekly, CBC News again reached out to Myggland to verify his remarks and again offer him the opportunity to comment on his online posts and involvement with both groups. A tweet by Erik Myggland responding to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Vimy anniversary tribute on April 9, 2018. (Twitter/CBC News) Myggland refused to be interviewed by CBC News. In an email, however, he claimed that coverage of his story has been biased and has failed to cite his years of community service, working with troubled teenagers and teaching self-defence courses to women, and his work with the Rangers and the local volunteer fire service, which he said included 400 emergency responses and life-saving calls. “You see you have no interest in these things. You have no interest in the truth,” he wrote. “You are more interested in trying to destroy a good man that has done NOTHING wrong!” His email did not address his involvement in either right-wing group and did not answer questions related to his case. In his interview with The Rocky Mountain Goat, Myggland did address the military counterintelligence investigation of his activities. The media outlet quotes him saying that he was asked by his commanding officer to meet with counterintelligence officers and insisting that he “promptly complied and fully briefed them on his past activities with the Soldiers of Odin and his current activities with Three Percenters in B.C.” ‘We weren’t doing anything wrong’ The army launched a summary investigation after a CBC News investigation reported that the Canadian military counterintelligence branch  interviewed Myggland about his affiliations but allowed him to continue serving. There was no mention of Myggland’s social media posts in The Rocky Mountain Goat article, although it does quote him strenuously insisting he is not racist. “The most intriguing question [asked by CBC journalists …] in that article was why did the Armed Forces allow me to serve for two years after being investigated? It’s a pretty simple answer: because we weren’t doing anything wrong,” the article quoted Myggland as saying. The story also paraphrased his patrol commanding officer, Clayton Gee, as saying Myggland did not preach hate or try to recruit other Rangers while serving. Myggland vehemently denied being “racist or hateful” in his interview with the weekly and claims that, as a Facebook administrator for the Three Percenters of B.C., he would call out those who displayed such behaviour. He said the Three Percenter movement is all about teaching survival techniques and preparing people for the collapse of society — something which its members believe is inevitable. ‘Anathema’ Myggland is quoted as saying the B.C. Three Percenters would practice with firearms at a local firing range and “conducted military drills with Airsoft rifles.” Section 70 of the Criminal Code of Canada gives the federal government the power to prohibit assemblies without lawful authority for the purpose of conducting military exercises. Barbara Perry is an expert on far-right groups at Ontario Tech University, in Oshawa, Ont. She said she was surprised to see a case of suspected far-right activity within the military handled so “nonchalantly, or so informally.” A counterintelligence investigation should have sounded the alarm all the way up the chain of command to 4th Canadian Ranger Group headquarters and beyond, said Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. “It really needs to be communicated to every level of commanding officer in the Armed Forces that membership in a hate group is anathema to serving in the Forces,” Balgord said. The Department of National Defence (DND) would not comment on Myggland’s public statement, saying that in light of the army’s investigation, “it would be inappropriate for us to publicly discuss further.” It also refused to discuss “the sensitive nature of its intelligence work,” adding that information collected during an investigation by counterintelligence officers is protected under the Privacy Act and needs to be safeguarded to protect current and future investigations. “That being said, we can firmly say that the entire institution remains unwavering in its commitment to fighting hateful conduct,” said Dan Lebouthillier, DND’s head of media relations. “We will not tolerate racist or harmful behaviour in our ranks or among our civilian personnel.” Myggland pointed out in his interview that neither the Three Percenters nor the Soldiers of Odin are on any state lists of terrorist organizations. That’s true, said Perry — but even a simple Internet search five years ago would have revealed the anti-Muslim rhetoric being traded among members of the Three Percenters in the U.S., and the blatant white supremacy and anti-immigrant commentary dominating the discourse among Soldiers of Odin organizers, especially in Europe. A Facebook photo of Erik Myggland on Aug. 24, 2019 wearing a Three Percenter patch (Facebook/CBC News) “You would have to have been willfully blind” to claim ignorance about those groups because of the “explicitness of the narratives” at the time Myggland joined, said Perry. Even before the recent introduction of the anti-racism policy framework, Canadian military policy officially barred members from joining groups “that they knew or ought reasonably to have known” would promote violence and hatred.
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Mock debates? Briefing books? How Trump and Biden are preparing for their first debate in Cleveland

CLOSEPresident Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will face each other Tuesday night during their first debate in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: USA TODAY Network)CLEVELAND – Ahead of the most important debate of his political career, Joe Biden huddled with his team of senior advisers in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, last week to try to predict…

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Mock debates? Briefing books? How Trump and Biden are preparing for their first debate in Cleveland

CLOSEPresident Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will face each other Tuesday night during their first debate in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: USA TODAY Network)CLEVELAND – Ahead of the most important debate of his political career, Joe Biden huddled with his team of senior advisers in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, last week to try to predict the moves of one of the most unpredictable men in politics, President Donald Trump.The former vice president took a break last Thursday from campaign events to ramp up debate preparation, turning to Bob Bauer, a senior Biden adviser and former White House general counsel, to play the role of Trump during mock debates. Biden’s schedule remained blank Monday.Tuesday’s debate at Case Western University in Cleveland – the first of three between the two presidential candidates – gives Biden a chance to answer the months-long assault from Trump and his allies questioning the former vice president’s mental fitness.It could reinforce his leads in national the and battleground polls, or if he performs poorly, it could give Trump a chance to to change the trajectory of the race.Debate topics: Supreme Court, coronavirus, race among the topics for the first presidential debate Sept. 29Trump has also been preparing for Cleveland showdown. Hesaid Sunday he has had practice sessions with the help of friends, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and that “a combination of these two” have portrayed Biden.While the Biden campaign spent the weekend downplaying the debate’s significance in a race that Biden has consistently led, some Democrats called the long-awaited encounter with Trump the most critical moment of the campaign. Biden has an opportunity to “seize a real advantage in this race” with a strong performance, said David Plouffe, former adviser to former President Barack Obama and a Biden supporter.Plouffe, speaking on his podcast last week, called the upcoming debate “one of the more important moments in American political history.””If Biden has a really strong debate, it doesn’t mean the rest of them don’t matter, but I think they’ll matter less – and I think he will cement a lot of the gains and leads he has in this election,” Plouffe said.More: President Trump’s campaign to paint Joe Biden as mentally unfit becomes a gambleOther top advisers working with Biden for debate preparation, sources familiar with preparations confirmed, include former vice president chief of staff Ron Klain – a debate coach for Democratic presidential candidates, including Obama, since 1992 –  as well as chief strategist Mike Donilon and senior adviser Anita Dunn. ‘Reassuring and plausible’ the goal for Biden, but not a ‘fact-checker’The debate comes amid polls showing Biden with a small – but steady – lead against Trump. The website RealClearPolitics, which tracks political polling, gives Biden a 6.6 percentage point lead over Trump in its average of national polls. But polls in several battleground states that could decide the election show the race much closer.In rallies, interviews and news conferences, Trump has previewed his debate strategy: A defense of his COVID-19 pandemic response, pledges to bring the back the economy, and attacks on Biden and his supporters, including the business activities of the former vice president’s son, Hunter Biden.Don’t look for Biden to “fact check” each of Trump’s misstatements,according to the Biden campaign, but expect him to lay out his plan to address the coronavirus and rebuild the economy. Biden will also cast himself as a unifier and Trump as a divider who has lied to the American people and puts himself above the nation’s interests.Biden is historically an uneven debater. He has a tendency to ramble on stage, often appearing flustered and on the defense when pressed by opponents. Democratic allies say it’s critical for Biden not to let Trump get him worked up. Biden “has to be reassuring and plausible,” said Jay Carney, former White House press secretary under Obama and a Biden supporter. “That’s something Joe Biden can do pretty effectively and has done. In this case, it certainly helps that the country knows him and they know he’s been there.More: Top seven revelations from New York Times report on Trump income taxes”The key for him is to expect something unorthodox, expect a lot of insults,” Carney said, “and to stay on his game and focus on the issues that actual voters care about – not names he’s being called or untruths that are being thrown out there.”AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideEncouraging for Biden: arguably his best debate performance during the Democratic primary came in March when he faced off against Sen. Bernie Sanders – a one-on-one format like what’s coming Tuesday. Biden will also have fresh ammunition – an explosive report from the New York Times that said Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency and his first year in office. Trump, who has always cast himself as a non-traditional politician, and his aides minimized the amount of traditional preparation he was undertaking. “He gets challenging, hostile questions routinely,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump reelection campaign. “Being president is debate prep.”Trump has told reporters “this whole thing,” referring to the presidency, amounts to debate prep. “You know, what I do is debate prep every day,” Trump said. “I’m taking questions from you people all the time.”Asked how many hours he has spent on debate preparation, Trump said: “Well, I don’t know. I mean, a little time. I mean, not a lot … I’m running a country.”In shift, Trump now builds Biden up Both the Trump and Biden campaigns embraced the traditional approach of building up the opponent’s debate skills in an effort to lower expectations.For the president, that’s no easy feat: Trump and his allies have spent months challenging Biden’s mental acuity. Now they’re describing him as a world-class debater who has been honing his skills since his election to the U.S. Senate in 1972 and to the vice presidency in 2008.”Maybe he’s going to be great at the debate,” Trump said during a campaign rally Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida. “You know, he’s been doing it for 47 years.”Likewise, the Biden campaign is looking to raise expectations for Trump. “Trump will be ready,” a Biden campaign aide said, adding that Trump “spends all day arguing with people and press.”More: ‘I beat the socialist’: Biden tacks to the center in fight with Trump over Rust Belt moderatesThe Biden campaign has also tried to dramatically lower expectations on the debate’s significance, noting that polling, both nationally and in battleground states, has changed little over months and continues to show the former vice president ahead.A Biden aide said the “contours of this race are pretty solidified” – that Trump mishandled his response to the coronavirus pandemic – and there isn’t a debate performance by either candidate that will “fundamentally reshape the race.””Even if he has a performance perceived to be good,” the aide said of Trump, “American life will still be defined by his failure to contain COVID.”For Biden, the debate isn’t a “high-pressure situation” because of his standing in the polls, said Jen Psaki, former Obama communications director.”For this debate, (Biden) needs to not get pulled into the swamp of wherever Trump wants it to go,” she said. “He needs to not be distracted to him by him, even if he’s trying to pull him into the gutter, and he needs to remember he’s speaking directly to the American people. That’s where the opportunity is.”Trump’s town hall performance has some in GOP worried about debateAs president, Trump has much more ability to control the message at a news conference or a White House event. At a political debate, he has to contend with a moderator – Chris Wallace of Fox News on Tuesday – and a presidential rival who won’t hesitate to push back.”I think Trump is going to be in for a surprise here,” said Alan Schroeder, author of “Presidential Debates: Risky Business on the Campaign Trail.”Trump is “typically over-confident in his ability to wing it” and sees debate as opportunities “to spin, not educate,” said Jennifer Mercieca, who teaches classes on presidential communication and debate at Texas A&M University.Rose Garden strategy: Trump moves campaign-style events to the White House as pandemic sidelines big ralliesSome of the president’s supporters privately express concerns that he is not taking the debates seriously.AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide“The debates are shaping up to be critically important for a Trump campaign that’s consistently running behind,” said Dan Eberhart, an energy company executive and GOP fundraiser. “The debates might be his last best chance for a big enough moment to slingshot around Biden before the checkered flag drops a month or so later.”Eberhart said he and other Republicans were alarmed by Trump’s performance in a recent ABC News town hall in Philadelphia. Trump faced questions from a roomful of undecided voters, but critics described his answers as rambling, factually inaccurate and radically at odds with reality.“Trump has a wandering style of speaking that’s made worse under pressure when he doesn’t have a teleprompter,” Eberhart said. “That was on full display in the town hall.”Trump also faces a challenge of history: Incumbent presidents tend to perform poorly in first debates. Barack Obama in 2012, George W. Bush in 2004, Ronald Reagan in 1984 – all struggled in the first debates of their re-election campaigns, their reflexes dulled by the deference normally shown to presidents.Donald Trump, right, debates Hillary Clinton in St. Louis on Oct. 9, 2016. (Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS, AFP via Getty Images)Their opponents – Mitt Romney, John Kerry, and Walter Mondale – seized the rhetorical advantage, and Biden will no doubt try to do likewise.”We will likely hear Biden say, ‘Come on, man’ to Trump, challenging his authority,” said Mercieca, author of ‘Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump.’ “Trump doesn’t handle humiliation well, so Biden may be able to put Trump on tilt.”Taking charge?Pentagon unlikely to swoop in if Biden wins and President Trump disputes election resultRegardless how things shake out, the debate isn’t guaranteed to provide the anointed winner a bounce.Strong debates against Trump didn’t help Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Gallup found that voters overwhelmingly saw Clinton as doing a better job than Trump in all three debates – 61%-27% in the first, 53%-35% in the second and 60%-31% in the third. But she still lost the election.”Debates, they don’t oftentimes really help you,” said Todd Belt, professor and political management program director at George Washington University. “But they can hurt you depending on how people remember them and how they’re played out in the press days afterward.”Joey Garrison reported from Washington.’Trump will be ready’Fact check: Claim that Biden called the Second Amendment ‘obsolete’ is satireIRead or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/09/29/presidential-debate-trump-biden-prep-first-debate-cleveland/3518403001/Find New & Used CarsNew CarsUsed CarsofPowered by Cars.com
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